Hilary Cruz

Hilary Cruz is ready for her close-up. This small-town girl's first trip away from her hometown of Louisville, Colo., was to Los Angeles to compete in the Miss Teen USA pageant. Starstruck upon meeting Mario Lopez, the host of the pageant, this Saved by the Bell fan was even more astonished days later when she was crowned Miss Teen USA 2007.

After winning the pageant, without a moment to catch her breath, Hilary packed up her small-town life in Louisville in exchange for the chaos of New York City, where she's living during her reign as Miss Teen USA. Now that the world is her stage, Hilary hopes Mario isn't her only brush with fame. She's got her eye set on meeting her celebrity crush, superstar tennis ace Rafael Nadal. But Hilary's interest in Rafael has little to do with his prowess on the tennis court -- she just thinks he's cute!

Hilary has high hopes for her year as Miss Teen USA and is eager to expand her horizons through travel and events. Ultimately, she'd love to use the experience as a launching pad for a career in acting and entertainment journalism. Her dream is to be an on-air personality like Vanessa Minnillo.

While she may be a long way from home, Hilary Cruz remains true to the values her parents, whom she considers her best friends, instilled in her. As Hilary likes to say, "A great day starts inside of you." So get ready to go inside Pageant Place and watch as this small-town girl makes it big!