Kidsday reporters Grace Liu, Olivia McNicholas, Ashley Torres and Anthony...

Kidsday reporters Grace Liu, Olivia McNicholas, Ashley Torres and Anthony Albanese, all 11, from Hicksville, Syosset and Westbury (they all attend Holy Family School in Hicksville) with Gabriela Isler, 2013 Miss Universe, at the Miss Universe offices in Manhattan on Nov.14, 2013. Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

We met Gabriela Isler, Miss Universe 2013, when she was at the Miss Universe offices in Manhattan recently.

How did you feel when they announced your name as Miss Universe?

If you see the video I didn't hear my name because I was very excited. When they came with the crown and I said "Ah, it's me. Really!" After they put the crown on my head, I realized I became the new Miss Universe and I felt so happy, so blessed because all my effort I made to get to this point.

How did you prepare for Miss Universe?

I was given lessons, like school lessons, and I learned how to do my makeup, my hair. I received walking lessons because I didn't know how -- cat walk it's different. I was a model, but it's different because [as a model] you don't have to smile. As a model, you always have to have "angry face." They teach you a lot of things.

Have you ever won any other pageants before Miss Universe?

No. Miss Venezuela was my first pageant. I never have been in a beauty pageant, I was always a model. So Miss Venezuela was my first pageant and this was my second. So I won both pageants.

Did your parents support you in this idea and how?

Of course! My father and my mother always gave me support, all my family, all my friends and I wouldn't be here [but] for the support of other people because sometimes you can feel down and these kinds of people -- the family, the parents -- give you the support that you need. It's not easy.

Do you date shorter guys?

My boyfriend is shorter than me and I use high heels. I don't care about taller or shorter. I think the most important is that you feel comfortable with that person. If they make you happy, they make you smile is more important. Don't worry. If he loves you, he doesn't care about the height. My boyfriend says you can use the high heels even if he looks more smaller than me.

What is one lesson you learned as a child that affects you today?

Since I was a child, I learned to work very hard for the things that I really want because my mom always taught me that no matter what I do . . . I can always have what I want with working hard, with faith, with dedication. So since I was a little girl my mom taught me this kind of values. And it makes me the woman that I am right now.