5 compete in scholarship pageant
SAN LUIS, Ariz. — Five young women are competing for the title of Miss Southwest in the city’s newly revived scholarship pageant.
After a two-year hiatus in the competition, the winner will be crowned on Thursday, in time to preside on Saturday during the city’s Founders Day celebration, which marks the 39th anniversary of the incorporation of San Luis as a municipality.
Competing in the Miss Southwest Scholarship Pageant are three San Luis High School students — Viviann Gurrola and Fernanda Medina, both 17, and Kimberly Lopez, 18 — and two Arizona Western College students Kyara Lardin, 19, and Jackie Perez Arce, 23.
The winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship to continue her education, while the second- and thirdplace finishers will earn $500 and $250 scholarships respectively.
Formerly the Miss San Luis pageant, the competition started in the late 1990s. In 2011 it became affiliated with Miss Arizona, with the winner of the San Luis title advancing to the state pageant. The San Luis pageant was terminated two years ago, but the city Parks and Recreation Department earlier this year revived it as an event independent of Miss Arizona, giving it a new name. The winner does not advance to the Miss Arizona Scholarship Pageant.
The winner will represent the city at events around the area and the state over the next year.
City Councilwomen Maria Ramos and Africa Luna-Carrasco introduced the five competitors recently at a news conference at the city’s Cesar Chavez Cultural Center, which will serve as the venue for Thursday’s crowning of the winner. “We are proud of you all,” Ramos said, addressing the candidates. She reminded them that as finalists, each one reflects on the city. “In anything to say or do, remember that you are representing the city.”
Doors at the cultural center, 1015 N. Main St., open at 6:30 p.m. Thursday for the pageant. Tickets are available at $20 per person at the same location.
The winner will be chosen based on the community service platforms they select, their performances in talent competitions, presentations on the walkway and their answers to questions asked by judges.
CANDIDATES FOR THE MISS SOUTHWEST TITLE in San Luis, Ariz., are (from left) Kyara Lardin, Viviann Gurrola, Kimberly Lopez, Fernanda Medina and Jackie Perez Arce.