La Verne is known for great sports teams and as a great place to raise a family (Family Circle magazine). Well, why not start another tradition, why can’t La Verne be the home of the next Miss California USA winner. Right now La Verne’s Jennifer Mercado is taking the first steps to fulfilling just that dream, and with readers’ help, who knows, she just might take go all the way and take the crown.
If her letter and smile are any indications of her talent, Jennifer gets LaVerneOnline’s vote. Here’s that letter:
Dear Family and Friends,
My name is Jennifer Mercado, and I am a contestant in Donald Trump’s Miss California USA pageant this coming November in Palm Springs, Calif.
I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley area in the city of La Verne. I attended Holy Name of Mary School in San Dimas for elementary and middle school. I then attended Saint Lucy’s Priory High School in Glendora and graduated in 2009. I currently attend Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Calif., where I am a Political Science major with a minor in Chicano Studies. My career goal is to enter the medical field – working in Pediatrics, specifically working with Autistic children and possibly focusing on another type of disability that affects children.
I have always been the type of person to try new things and get involved. I have never been known to sit around and wait for change to happen. I am a person who takes action when needed. I am a very active person in my school and community. Currently, I am in Alpha Phi sorority – where I am the assistant director of Aphiasco (our annual philanthropic event), the manager at the Student Leadership and Development Office, a Mexican-American Alumni Association (MAAA) scholar, one of the main people starting up Global Brigades and the Latino Student Union at LMU. I am working on all of the above along with helping at the local baseball field – La Verne Little League, just as I have been for over the past five years, The Children’s Development Center in Upland, The Association of Catholic Student Councils (TACSC – for the past six years), and working at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center shadowing doctors in the prenatal center, as well as assisting with research in diabetes.
If this wasn’t enough, I recently decided to try something else new in my life – a pageant. This isn’t just any pageant, but it is the The Donald Trump California USA 2011 pageant occurring this November. I have never done a pageant, modeling, or anything of that sort. To be honest, it all started one day during final weeks in early May. I was tired of studying for Biology. So of course, I took a break , and I went on Facebook. I saw an ad to apply to be a contestant in the pageant. I went on the website, and out of the blue, I decided to apply. I never thought that I would even be contacted. However, on June 1, I was fortunate enough to be selected as a contestant from a pool of over 5,000 women.
The week of June 1 was also the time when I realized why I wanted to be a part of something bigger than me. After looking at the website and hearing more about the pageant itself and the beautiful, amazing women that participate in it, I feel as if Miss California USA represents more than what meets the eye. Miss California USA represents beauty inside and out, strength, compassion, determination, intelligence, poise,, and passion. She represents the all-around person.
The big question is: Why do I want to be Miss California? I strongly believe that I would make a great Miss California USA because I think that I could related to a lot of different types of girls – from those girls who are intelligent, hold leadership positions, play sports, interested in the arts, and possibly other things as well. I want to continue to give Miss California a good name and reputation. Miss California is more than just a beauty pageant. It is about making a difference. My goals in life have always revolved around making a difference and doing what I can for those who are in need. By being Ms. California, I can do all of this and more. I can reach out further than just my local community. I am extremely passionate about helping others, and my heart is in this pageant just like everything else that I am involved with.
Meeting some of the outstanding women that I will be competing against and learning more and more about how Miss California is such an important role model to so many young girls and the impact she has on the community as well, all of this has now made Miss California a dream of mine. Through this pageant, my cause is Autism Awareness. If you join my Facebook fan page at “Jennifer Miriah Mercado for Mss CA USA 2011,” you can learn more about Autism every Monday with the facts I input. This is a very important cause to me because it is growing in the United States, yet, not many people know a lot about Autism. There is a way we can make a change and a difference. Learning about Autism is the first step and that will be my goal throughout this pageant!
I strongly believe that I can be great, but I cannot do this alone. I am writing to you today to ask for your help, support and prayers. Sponsorship is key for this pageant to become a reality. Help me achieve my dream and make a difference with me by supporting me any way possible. Financially, this going to be a tough ride, and I cannot do this without your help. Please become a sponsor today! Any amount is gratefully appreciated, whether it is $100, $25, or even $1. My promise to you is to be myself and do my very best in this pageant. I will make you proud representing my local community. If you could help by donating money (which can be tax deductible), buying an ad in the Miss California USA 2011 pageant program, donating some of your services, passing on my letter to anyone else you know who may be interested in helping me, joining my fan page to learn more about Autism, or just sending me positive thoughts and prayers, that would all be greatly appreciated!
Please feel free to call, e-mail, Facebook message, or mail me any questions or thoughts that you may have. If you plan on writing a check, please make it payable to me, or K2 Productions. I cannot describe in words how thankful I am for all of your support in many, many ways. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers these next few months as I go through this journey. I will keep everyone updated though this journey that WE all are taking together.
From the bottom of my heart – Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!