Western Cape-born Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters's Dream became a reality last Sunday when she was crowned Miss SA 2017 at Sun City.
Nel-Peters said winning the Pageant will help achieve her childhood dream of changing the lives of Young South Africans.
"I watched many of the Miss SA crownings while growing up. I remember telling myself that one day, I too would enter and be an inspiration to many girls. My dream is to impact the lives of many girl-children positively, for them to believe in their dreams and achieve them," she said.
"My stepfather Johan Steenkamp raised me like his own daughter. He stays with my mother Anne-Marie at our home in the Western Cape.
"My stepmom Elzabé Peters, who lives with my father Bennie Peters, also played a huge role in my life," she said.
"I was the first girl in my high school to be chosen head girl of both the school and its hostel.
"I was also elected as the deputy junior mayor of the George city council in Grade 11," she said.
The 21-year-old, who is also the youngest of the the finalists, said the moment she put her mind into entering the Miss SA pageant, she started making plans about how she would make a positive change in the country by helping young women.
"I can't wait to travel the country and get to know it better. I'm determined to make a positive change wherever I go," she said.
Nel-Peters said one of the people who motivated her was her 10-year-old disabled half-sister, Franje, who was born without a cerebellum.
"Her drive and positivity motives me a lot. I would like to see much of her energy in other disabled children," she said.
The beauty queen also said she looked up to former Miss SA 2003 Cindy Nell, who she believes had inspired her to prioritise changing the lives of young South Africans during her reign.
The BCom business management graduate from North West University said she would strive to stay positive at all times during her reign.
She also revealed that her journey to the pageant had helped her overcome her fears. She believes this helped her believe in herself more.
Part of her winnings include R1-million in cash from sponsors Sun International and Cell C as well as a bouquet of other prizes, pushing the competition's total prize money to more than R2-million.
Nel-Peters took over the rei ns from Miss SA 2016, Mpumalanga's Ntandoyenkosi Kunene.
Among the judges were businessman Maps Maponyane, radio talk show host Unathi Msengana, Miss SA 2004 Claudia Henkel, swimmer Cameron van der Burgh and media personality Bridget Masinga.