LatinoUSA on NPR

I had an amazing thing happen to me last week: I was invited to be a guest speaker on LatinoUSA on NPR. Yes, that’s right…this opportunity meant I’d be part of something HUGE. I received an email from the producer of LatinoUSA in Harlem, New York, asking if I’d like to be part of a panel discussing body image with the Latina and pageant industry. I was so in shock because NPR was something all of my journalism classes listened to at SJSU and the prominent journalists, in my eyes, were definitely high and mighty-celebrity like. After the initial pre-interview phone call, we finalized last minute details and like a child excitedly waiting for Christmas morning all year long, November 1st, my Christmas, finally came arrived.

Once my sister and I showed up to the station, we quickly set up shop and began mic checking and as soon as I knew it, the segment had begun with journalist and moderator, Maria Hinojosa, introducing me as “Blogera* Kassandra Peña, Miss San Jose Latina.” The conversation also included proud feminist and “Blogera” Patricia Valoy in which we all discussed how body image has changed over the years and what we think the future holds for Latinas. Eventually, the segment came to a final close and it was such an amazing feeling to hear my blog address and more importantly, my name be announced on air. Participating in an interview like this just made me even more determined to make a name for myself within the Latina social media community. I felt as if I were doing exactly what I was meant to be doing in life and I truly was at my highest self of fulfillment.

Though the conversation will be edited and aired within the next two weeks, I am so grateful the Miss California Latina organization exists. I would have never had the opportunity to be on NPR if it weren’t for the pageant and my creation of this very blog-how LatinoUSA contacted me. The “Big Day” is now just 26 days away and up to this point, I have had many great opportunities with just my title alone that no matter what happens, I still am walking away as a winner.

Ps- Please visit my “Photos” page to view a picture at the studio

*Blogera is the latest and trendiest “Spanglish” name given to a Latina woman who is a blogger.

Love,
Kassie P.

Advertisements

What’s all the Babble about?

My good friend, Claudia Candelas, and I met up earlier this week to discuss our future blogging venture collaboration: Stiletto Girls. Claudia and I met through mutual friends at San Jose State University and we instantly hit it off because of our passion for media and all things related. Working while surfing the web for content ideas at Santana Row, I happen to come across a link to Babble.com*. The site was calling all bloggers to enter a chance to be named one of “Babble’s Best 100 Bloggers 2013.” I immediately signed this very blog to the list under the categories: Latina and Humor & Entertainment…and within hours, my stats blew out of the water. Though Babble editors and staff will end up selecting the final 100, just having my profile on another platform gives me that much more exposure to my pageant experience.

As you know from previous posts, I’ve been getting myself mentally prepared and doing everything else in between that will make the “Big Day” a success but to be honest, it hasn’t really hit me that it’s just around the corner! To think that exactly one year ago in September I had my initial pre-selection phone interview amazes me. Even though I didn’t create my blog until long after claiming the title of Miss San Jose Latina, I’ve had an amazing time documenting this experience because it’s something I’ll always be able to look back and reminisce on, with or without that Miss California Latina crown.

*To visit my Babble page and leave a comment, please visit: http://www.babble.com/babble-100/babble-100-readers-choice/kassandra-pena/

Love,
Kassie P.

Shop ‘Till We Drop

During pageant weekend, we will privately be interviewed by a panel of judges, therefore; we must dress accordingly. During my sophomore year at San Jose State University, I joined Lambda Theta Nu Sorority, Inc., a Latina organization priding ourselves in professionalism. As part of upholding one of our beliefs, we dress in professional wear all day long on our weekly chapter meeting days. During those times, I lived fairly close to campus but was always on the go needing to shoot, film and interview weekly stories for our campus wide news station, Update News*. For me, I found I could achieve all this running around best in perfectly cropped length trousers and a long sleeve buttoned up collared shirt accessorized with a fitted vest. As President of our chapter, I was expected to attend campus wide Greek Organization meetings and report back to my chapter with news and updates. Upon arriving to our meetings, I usually found myself rolling up my sleeves half way preparing myself before presenting to the membership and for unknown psychological reasons, I always felt more confident like that, mentally preparing to get dirty and down to business. As soon as I found out an interview outfit would be required for Miss California Latina, I already knew what my go-to outfit was going to consist of.

The other day my mom and I went window shopping for color and style inspiration. The business look is supposed to be professional yet give a glimpse of each woman’s personality. Though I have the ideal look set in my head, it’s now all about actually finding the pieces of articles. We visited a few stores but didn’t quite find exactly what I’m looking for which led to some disappointment but now that fall is just around the corner, I’m hoping my color choices will be easier to find. Though I do have one gorgeous business dress from Banana Republic that I do consider lucky (simply because I’ve worn it to various interviews/meetings and have always come out a winner) I’m choosing to go with the “men’s look” hoping I’ll stand out showing the judges that I wear the pants in the interview! 

*To view past video projects featured on Update News please visit my YouTube Channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/thekassielife/videos
Love,
Kassie P.