AKRON, Ohio (WKYC) -- Sharnae Lathan's story is one of hope and resilience.
At 31 years old, the Akron mother has been through more in her life than most people can imagine. Lathan was sexually abused for years by someone close to her.
While it's taken Lathan nearly her entire life to cope with the abuse she suffered as a child, she's turning that pain into helping others.
As Ohio's representative in the Triumph Over Tragedy: Ms. USA pageant, she has the chance to share her story on a national stage.
"I have nothing better that I could do with my life, than to turn the horrific events that took place in my childhood into a positive way that I can reach out to children," Lathan said.