Student Crowned Miss Albuquerque

By: Jyllian Roach, Editor-In-Chief | Photo By: Scott M. Roberts, Art Director

While Miss Albuquerque, Stephanie Chavez will focus on child literacy.
While Miss Albuquerque, Stephanie Chavez will focus on child literacy.

Communications major Stephanie Chavez has won the title of Miss Albuquerque 2013.

Chavez won the title on Feb. 9 after previously winning the titles of Miss Doña Ana County 2012 and Miss Albuquerque 2012, she said.

“It feels great. It’s a little surreal, just get­ting used to the title, but I’m just staying in school and keeping things as normal as possible,” she said.

Chavez’s goal as Miss Albuquerque is to focus on child lit­eracy because reading was something she struggled with as a child, she said.

To help children who struggle with lit­eracy, Chavez visits Albuquerque-area schools and shares her story and how practicing gave her a love of reading.

“I just teach them that reading can be fun, it’s not just for school,” she said.

She has worked mostly with pre­school and elemen­tary school chil­dren because she understands the impact illiteracy can have on a stu­dent, she said.

Students who struggle with read­ing are often looked upon as bad students and do not always get the support they need, she said.

The next step in her pageant career is the Miss New Mexico competi­tion on June 23, she said.

If Chavez wins the title, she said she will be taking her literacy project statewide so that she can help as many children as possible.

Should Chavez win Miss New Mexico, she said she would have the opportunity to com­pete in the Miss America competition.

Unlike televi­sion shows like “Toddlers and Tiaras” that give the impression that beauty pag­eants focus solely on physical appear­ance, Chavez said that the pageants emphasize service and intellect.

“Often on these televisions shows, we see parents pushing the chil­dren. It should be the child’s choice. Pageants teach good lessons about win­ning and losing, but at the same time, these kids don’t want to compete and it’s the moth­ers or the families pushing them to do so,” said Chavez.

She said the pag­eants also helped her with public speaking and confidence, but that it was always her choice to enter the pageants.

The Miss America organiza­tion is the largest women’s scholar­ship provider in the nation, she said.

The winner of Miss New Mexico will receive a $10,000 scholar­ship and the winner of Miss America is awarded a $50,000 scholarship.

“It is a huge help as a college stu­dent,” she said.

Chavez said that she realizes pag­eants are stereo­typed as being only about looks, but that it is a stereo­type she hopes to help break.

Chavez encour­ages any students that want to com­pete for a local title to do so by going to missnewmexico. org, she said.

Miss Albuquerque Fun Fact

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