AS a contender for the Queen's crown at the Digicel Bula Festival, Talei Mocavakalala Latabua hopes to capitalise on the publicity garnered by spreading a message of encouragement for her peers.
"There are a lot of teenage pregnancies nowadays because of a lack of parental guidance," Miss Latabua said.
"There are still opportunities for them in life even after they have children at a young age."
With the knowledge that many youth did not pursue tertiary education after falling pregnant, the Yadrana native from Lakeba, Lau, said she was grateful for what she had achieved so far.
She recently completed certificate-level studies in front office management and customer relations at the Fiji National University.
The 19-year-old lists singing as a special talent, while travelling and socialising are among her hobbies.
She is sponsored by Nadi Down Town Hotel.
Also making her first foray into a pageant is 21-year-old Iowana Koroi.
Sponsored by Clyde Acrow, the former St Bedes College student ventured to Nadi for customer relations studies and hopes to stamp her mark in the tourism industry.
"My family only found out about my involvement in the pageant through the media because I was too shy to tell them," she revealed.
"They are supportive though and while the pageant is challenging, it is a good opportunity."
Twelve contestants are in the line-up for the contest, and a new Bula Queen will be named on Saturday night at Prince Charles Park in Nadi.