Thursday, April 29, 2010

FURTHER INFORMATION:            STACY ARMSTRONG (626) 857-4082, CHRISY ALCARAZ (626) 422-2544


Citrus College Student Serves as Miss Azusa
by Stacy Armstrong


The new Miss Azusa is more than just a pretty face.  Chrisy Alcaraz is also a performer, a mentor, an education advocate, and a Citrus College student.


Undoubtedly, each of these characteristics will prove to be valuable throughout her year-long reign.


“In my opinion, Miss Azusa must have excellent communication skills and an ability to relate and connect with diverse groups of people.  She must also be someone who can set a good example for the community, is committed to academic excellence, and has a heart to serve others,” Alcaraz said.  “I am committed to fulfilling each of these roles and know that I will represent the city of Azusa in a positive way.”


Although Alcaraz was named Miss Azusa 2010, she has been involved with the program for nearly two years.


“I first learned about the program in 2008, through Citrus College employee Linda Merlo,” she said.  “Linda used to coordinate the college’s Student Ambassador Program and had helped a former student ambassador become Miss Azusa.  When Linda learned I was a singer, she encouraged me to participate.”


Before becoming involved with the pageant, Alcaraz did a little research.


“I learned that the Miss America Organization was the largest provider of scholarship assistance to women in the world,” she said.  “I also realized that it would provide me with the opportunity to perform, develop self confidence, maintain a healthier lifestyle, increase my community involvement, and improve my public speaking skills.”


Ultimately, she agreed to participate.


“I knew it would be a challenge, but I also knew that it would be a great learning experience,” she said.  “No matter what the outcome of the pageant was going to be, I was confident that I would walk away as a more polished public speaker and performer.”


After competing in the 2009 Miss Azusa Pageant, Alcaraz was named first runner up.  When the opportunity to participate in this year’s pageant arose, she decided to join the six other women vying for the title.


“I enjoy every moment of the pageant process,” she said.  “I feel that it is a growing experience and there is so much to be gained throughout each stage of the process.”


According to Alcaraz, there were five phases of the Miss Azusa competition.


“It began with a private interview where the judges tried to find out as much about me as possible in fewer than 10 minutes by asking me about my goals and personal opinions,” she said.  “There is also a lifestyle and fitness competition, a talent portion in which I sang ‘Tonight’ from West Side Story, an evening gown competition, and an on-stage question.”


The 21-year-old says she was shocked after hearing her name called as the winner of the pageant.


“It felt like the longest moment of my life,” she said.  “I was in tears and so happy that all my hard work paid off.”


In addition to receiving a crown, Alcaraz also earned a $1,000 scholarship and the opportunity to compete in the Miss California Pageant.


“Miss Azusa is an official preliminary for Miss California.  Therefore, one of the most important responsibilities I have is to prepare for the Miss California Pageant,” she said.


Other responsibilities include being involved in the community and promoting a platform.


“I will be attending several community events, especially during Azusa’s Golden Days Week in October,” she said.  “I will also be advancing my platform of educating the economically disadvantaged.”


In promoting her platform, Alcaraz says it is likely that she will talk about Citrus College.


“Citrus College has made it possible for me to pursue a higher education,” she said.  “I will continue to share the many benefits and resources the college has to offer, when I speak with other students.”


During her time at Citrus College, Alcaraz has been involved in the Student Ambassador Program, Music Program, Latina Leadership Network, and Honors Program.


“I plan to use my personal story as a way to encourage students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds,” she said.  “I want to share resources that will enable these students to overcome their financial and educational obstacles.”


Alcaraz says she also hopes to encourage other young women to participate in next year’s Miss Azusa Pageant.


“My goal is to have 20 contestants so that we can increase the amount of scholarships awarded in the future,” she said.  “I want every participant to leave the program thankful that she went through the experience.”


Being thankful is something to which Alcaraz can relate to.


“There is nothing that can be lost from competing in this program,” she said.  “I think everyone should have the opportunity to compete against themselves by striving to do their personal best.  I am so glad that I have.”




FURTHER INFORMATION:            STACY ARMSTRONG (626) 857-4082, CHRISY ALCARAZ (626) 422-2544


Chrisy Alcaraz                     chrisy 2