Miss Pennsylvania USA, West View native Valerie Gatto, advanced to the top 20 of the Miss USA competition Sunday in Baton Rouge, La.
But her road to the crown ended there. The 24-year-old University of Pittsburgh graduate was cut after the swimsuit round (pictured at right). Nia Sanchez, Miss Nevada USA, took home the title of Miss USA 2014.
Ms. Gatto attracted nationwide interest and attention even before the Miss USA telecast. According to the biography on her website, her mother was raped at knifepoint and became pregnant with her. She's used her platform as Miss Pennsylvania USA to share her story and encourage others.
"I hope to empower people of all ages through my story," Ms. Gatto told the Post-Gazette.