A NORTH-EAST beauty queen will talk about her cyber bullying ordeal and experiences as an actress and model at a conference in the US next year.

Miss United Kingdom Tourism 2011 Kelly Waite, of Trimdon Village, near Sedgefield, has been invited to be the guest speaker at A Models Workshop in Las Vegas in April.

When she takes to the podium, the former Sedgefield Community College pupil, who was crowned Miss County Durham Galaxy in 2010, will follow in the footsteps of past winners of America’s Next Top Model.

It is an achievement made all the greater by the challenges the outwardly carefree 20-something has overcome in the last year.

These include being diagnosed with an underactive thyroid that causes extreme tiredness and being targeted by cyber bullies on social networking sites.

Miss Waite, who will share her story with aspiring models at the conference, said coming to terms with her condition and learning to rise above the bullies’ comments had made her a stronger person.

“It used to really affect me when I heard negative comments because I didn’t know who to trust,” she said.

“They were not just targeting me, but I am friends with some well-known musicians on Facebook and the bullies started to send them death threats too.

“It was an awful experience, but I am definitely a stronger person for it. When you come from a small community and you choose to do something different it can make you a target.

“I refuse to let anything get in the way of me doing what I love.

“For every hater there is always someone there encouraging and supporting you.”

Ever since she watched the film My Girl as a child, Miss Waite has dreamed of becoming an actress and her ambition is to star in a Hollywood film.

She has already gained parts in British films, including Goal and A Song for Marion, and has appeared in high-profile television shows such as Wire in the Blood, 55 Degrees North and Lawless.

This is in addition to modelling jobs, charity work and her duties as the face of StarDust Boutique, in Cardiff, Wales.

And, having signed with a London agent earlier this year, Miss Waite’s career shows no sign of slowing down.

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