In addition to her numerous extracurricular activities at Southwest High School, 17-year-old senior Melissa Ontiveros will also try to add the title of Miss Teen California Latina on Nov. 18, in Pasadena.
Melissa said she is looking forward to the entire pageant experience as the teen Latina representative for Imperial County.
“The main focus of the pageant is to represent the Hispanic culture and tradition,” Melissa said.
Of the different pageant events, Melissa said she is looking forward to the interview portion the most.
“You always see that part of the pageant in movies, and I’m excited to actually get the chance to do it,” she said.
Melissa is hoping her nerves do not get the better of her and said she will try to remember everything her pageant coach taught her.
“We’ve been going to LA every weekend since about August,” she said. “I’ve just been learning the basics of pageantry, so I hope it pays off.”
Melissa added that she would not have been able to compete had it not been for the support of her parents and family.
“Every weekend, I drive her and try to make sure she gets her homework done or she is reading,” said Melissa’s mother, Manuela Ontiveros.
Manuela said she is looking forward to seeing her daughter in a ball gown, but more importantly her growth as an individual.
“I’m just hoping she remembers everything she was taught and represents herself well,” Manuela said. “I know this is an experience that she’ll be able to carry with her for the rest of her life.”
To help Melissa reach the semifinal round, Imperial Valley residents can “like” her picture on the Miss California Latina Facebook page.
“I extremely grateful for all the support I’ve received from my friends and my sponsors, so any extra support will be a blessing,” Melissa said.
Staff Writer Karina Lopez can be reached at 760-377-3439 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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