Pasadena hosted The Miss and Teen California Latina pageant for women of Latin descent. Fifty young women competed. The weekend-long event started with the annual Purple Carpet kick-off on Friday, Nov. 16 and continued with the Latin Connection Expo event, which featured the preliminary competitions on Saturday and ultimately the crowning of Isabel Donadio as Miss Teen California Latina 2012.
The teen pageant itself is affiliated with the Miss Latina US pageant and calls itself "A
celebration of beauty, style and cultural appreciation, emphasizing the opportunity for personal development while serving the community." Young women of Latin heritage between the ages of 13-27 competed from all areas of California in a series of competition, including personal interview, evening gown, swimwear and fashion wear.
On Saturday, the competition was narrowed down from 19 contestants to eight, then on Sunday, the final judged event narrowed the group to four girls. They were asked an impromptu question about a current issue facing the community, which was "bullying". All four girls had to think on their feet, and each came up with an excellent answer to some rather difficult queries.
Isabel's response was, "Being personally bullied myself by my peers at a young age affected
me, but I worked through it by turning it into a positive and talking to other teens."
"Being crowned Miss Teen California Latina 2012 this weekend has become one of the biggest
accomplishments of my entire life," she said. "I cannot say that I was alone on this journey, as my family, friends and my community of Menifee have been right there by my side since the beginning. I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has been a huge support! My reign begins today as I represent the state of California to the best of my ability as a confident Latina ready to undertake anything."
While she will enjoy this experience, she hopes to instill values which come from volunteering with her local organizations, such as The Arts Council of Menifee, Menifee Rotary Club, Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce, Community Cupboard, Women Aginst Child Trafficking, and the Lion's Club.
The following organizations and people provided support and sponsorship in helping Isabel achieve the Miss Teen California Latina Title: Arts Council Menifee, Menifee Rotary Club, Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, Media Consultant Frank Tiscareno, Menifee City Mayor John Denver and wife Linda Denver, Zarka Cigar Lounge, City Bagel & Bakery, Bob and Mona Davies, John and Lucy Walund and Jerry and Gloria Evans.