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.

Kassie P.


New Month, New Ideas

To kick off the new month of May (which also means one month that much closer to the pageant) I decided it would be very crucial for me to get out in the community and get more exposure and support! Typing “Latino-related events” in Google’s search engine, I luckily came across many upcoming amazing festivals and events celebrating the Latin culture that the great city of San Jose is offering. I quickly pulled out my 8 x 10 pink 2013 monthly calendar (that goes everywhere with me) out of my purse and grabbed some lime green post-its to start jotting down the names of the events, locations, and times. Thankfully and according to my calendar, all of the events mentioned on the internet (except for four) did not interfere with any prior engagements. By the end of my internet research, I had filled three post-it stickies full of events I could make appearances at and attend.

Though as you know from past posts I have never participated in pageant-like events, I want to make this experience the best it can be and take advantage of all of the opportunities I will have this year. I’m very excited to get out in the community and promote Miss San Jose Latina with grace and class.


Kassie P.