BULOU Suluaqalo counts herself fortunate after landing a job as a pharmacy assistant at Ba Mission Hospital.
However, she is saddened by the number of youths in her community who are unable to find jobs despite having qualifications.
"Unemployment is a major issue in our community and we have to address this," she said.
The 25-year-old said this was the reason she joined the Digicel Ba Riverside Carnival.
"I wanted to give a voice to the youths and talk about unemployment with the people of Ba."
The Kadavu lass is sponsored by R C Manubhai and Company Limited.
"I think my biggest challenge during this carnival would be facing the crowd. I am very comfortable with one on one conversation and while I work in a hospital, I interact with a lot of people.
"However, I have never spoken in front of a crowd and I am nervous about this."
Ms Suluaqalo said she was banking on family support to pull her through before the start of the carnival.
"They are even more excited than I am with regards to the carnival."
She said commuting from Lautoka to Ba daily for the pageant training was tough.
"It is hard but it's worth it. All the girls have become extremely close and we will miss each other a lot after the carnival."
She, alongside eight others, will compete for the Digicel Ba Carnival crown when the event starts on August 4.