For Californian Rose Beltran, 2015 is a great year. A senior in high school and an undefeated wrestling champion, Rose was recently crowned Miss Merced County. She will be competing in the Miss California Pageant later this year.

Rose entered the foster system when she was just six years old. During her many years in foster care, she lived in seven different homes before being adopted last September. Rose is wise beyond her 17 years, knowing that troubled times can be used to create great inner strength. That is just what she has done.

In an interview with the Merced Sun Star, Rose said, “The world that I have come from has made me mentally and emotionally stronger and it has caused me to grow this fire in my heart to be better. I am always reaching for the brightest star. I experienced the hurt and feeling of neglect other foster children have felt and it has made me want to give back. I want them to know that dreams can come true if you never give up and always look for the positive.”

Besides winning scholarship money, Rose is hoping to do well in the Miss California Pageant so she can bring awareness of the foster care system to the public.

Her full story may be read here.