Oceanside CA– MiraCosta College will be well represented at the Miss California Pageant this month in Fresno. Two of the women competing for the crown – and a chance to vie for the Miss America title – are MiraCosta College students.
Meet Kelsey Schwarz and Katherine Da Silva.
“I’m a big champion of community colleges and a huge advocate of MiraCosta College, so I think it’s fantastic that we have two people competing,” said Schwarz, who is 22 years old.
Miss California falls under the umbrella of the Miss America Pageant organization, and the winner qualifies for that coveted competition. The four points of the Miss America crown symbolize scholarship, service, style and success.
Education and the Miss California Pageant go hand in hand. For example, Rita Ng, Miss California 2000, graduated with honors from Stanford University and earned her doctorate from University of California at San Francisco Medical School en route to becoming a cardiologist. And Crystal Lee, Miss California 2013, graduated with two degrees from Stanford University last year.
Schwarz has earned more than $7,000 for her education by participating in pageants, including $2,200 this year alone. Her recent Miss Southland title came with a $1,000 scholarship, and she earned another $1,000 scholarship for competing in the Miss California event. She also earned $100 each for taking the swimsuit and interview competitions at the Miss Southland pageant.
Schwarz, who competed in the Miss California pageant last year as Miss San Diego, plans to earn a Ph.D. and work with children, though she is leaving her options open. “I know I want to work helping students in the public education system,” Schwarz said.
The Valley Center resident is compiling an impressive resume, serving as the only student board member of a nonprofit called Heal Bullying and mentoring three girls between the ages of 9 and 11. She worked as a student ambassador at MiraCosta College when she attended the Oceanside Campus full time, and she continues to take a class there while attending Cal State San Marcos and studying communications. Schwarz works at MiraCosta College in the Office of School Relations and Diversity Outreach, as well as for Royal Entertainers as a Disney princess for children’s parties and events.
Da Silva, 19, is a relative newcomer to the pageant scene. She entered her first contest, Miss RB Teen, as a freshman in high school. She earned the title of Miss Rancho Bernardo in her second pageant, and she claimed the Miss San Diego crown this year.
Da Silva, the middle of three children, has lived in Rancho Bernardo most of her life and took part in track and field events during much of her youth. She also has been involved with musical theatre, church activities and volunteering. She plans to attend a University of California campus and study business or economics.
The 2014 Miss California Pageant will be held June 24-28 at the William Saroyan Theatre in Fresno.