Final Stamp of Approval

My pageant experience would not be possible without the financial support of all of my sponsors. I have been so blessed and thankful that each of my sponsors have been supportive of my journey and have made this experience a cherished memory of a lifetime. Of course I am grateful for every organization that has joined me on my run, however; I’d really like to extend my deepest gratitude to my biggest financial supporter: Caribe Nightclub. After the initial interview for the pageant, I remember thinking to myself how on earth I’d come up with close to $1,000 to participate.* Since I personally know the owner of the club, I knew I’d be able to ask for his support but I was definitely nervous not knowing the outcome. Luckily, after quickly stating the amount (hoping the sound would gently roll off of my tongue and kind of go in one ear and out the other) the owner blew out a whistle and agreed to paying the full amount. I distinctly remember the feeling of burden being instantly lifted off of my shoulders as if pageant angels had come to the rescue. Since then, I had been making payment installments every other month to Miss California Latina… up until earlier this week. I could not believe how much time had already passed and now I was making my final payment.

As mentioned, when I first found out exactly how much it would cost to participate, I remember having a feeling of “Well there goes that experience” because I knew that I, myself, could probably not have come up with the cash meanwhile paying off my car and monthly rent. I remember feeling pretty down because I truly wanted to try something different but wasn’t confident I could come up with the funds, that is; until I realized it was me who was holding myself back, not the money. I knew in my heart I’d find the means and it would only take my dedication and time to find sponsors. Thankfully and by the grace and timing of God, I found all of my sponsors and the birth of my journey had officially begun.

Though my contributors have been a big part of this experience financially, I’d also like to take the time to thank my other “sponsors,” my readers! My passion and calling in life is creative writing and I feel so honored when my readers comment, email and tweet me positive feedback on my posts. I feel an overwhelming amount of satisfaction and fulfillment when my readers take time to hear my voice. Thank you all who have joined me on my journey and who are rooting for Miss San Jose Latina 2013!

*Participation fee includes the following: Hotel Lodging, All Meals, Purple Carpet Media Event Transportation, Opening Number Dress/Jewelery/Shoes, Swim Wear, Weekend Competition Sash and Goody Bags from Miss California Latina sponsors.

Love,
Kassie P.

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Say Cheese!

In 2011 at SJSU, I was part of Chicano Commencement, a special graduation ceremony for all Latino students and our families. Chicano Commencement, or “CC”, focused on highlighting the achievements of all Latinos in our community and so the majority of contributors to help make “CC” a success were Latinos. This included everything from the live music to the photography. The photographer, Sergio Estrada, had already been a friend of mine as he had photographed many Latino related events on campus. Graduation night was quite a success, with all the photographs to cherish.

From the moment I was accepted into the pageant, I knew one of the key components I would need was having a complete portfolio. Though it had been a few years since graduation, I quickly whipped up an email proposal and sent it over Sergio’s way and thankfully he agreed to take on the role. We set up the photo shoot during Memorial Weekend since he’d be in town photographing CC’s Class of 2013. After some indoor studio shots, we ventured out to Penitencia Creek in San Jose where we spent about 30 minutes posing with various backdrops.Though I was not able to see all photos, I was able to get a glimpse of a few and from what I saw, they looked amazing! I’m really excited to get the photos back and I’m thankful Sergio was able to be part of this experience with me.

Love,
Kassie P.

Here’s My Card For Ya!

Earlier this week, I looked over my calendar of pageant events in San Jose that I will be attending and thought it would be great PR for me to pass out business cards to those I come in contact with. I quickly logged onto Vistaprints.com and created 250 fun, colorful business cards that have all of my social media contact information. In general, I think it’s always important to promote ones self and now with this pageant title under my belt, I truly want to get out in my community and let people know who I am and how they can support me. With my multicolored zebra print business cards, I know I will be able to create a larger network both personal and business.

I’m very excited to start attending events while meeting lots of new people of all different walks of life in San Jose. I know getting lots of exposure in this city will lead to great opportunities for me because you never know whose hands my business card may fall into!

Love,
Kassie P.

Search Word: Pageants

Today I had a bit of time on my hands, so I decided to go back to the drawing board and research pageant stuff online. I think it’s going to be very important for me to get an idea of what the pageant weekend is going to look like since I’ve never participated in an event like this before. Of course, I understand whatever past experiences I read about will not be the same as my own but I feel as long as I get a general idea of what the weekend will consist of, I will feel more secure of what to expect. I came across some great websites/blogs that I decided to bookmark, to refer back on, and I feel really good to know that most of the girls were nervous yet excited upon entering their first pageants, and even took home the title on their first try!

It’s sort of a funny feeling to realize that exactly one year ago, I was never doing any type of pageant research because I would have never expected to be part of an experience like this one. Now, I find myself “Youtube-ing” or reading blog posts about Latinas in pageants like never before! During long drives home or stopped at red lights, I catch myself visualizing what the pageant weekend is going to be like and what other amazing girls I will be able to meet. Though I am taking into consideration all of the tips and suggestions from previous winners of different pageants, I know that no amount of advice will matter if my personality and answers don’t shine from my heart.

Love,

Kassie P.

Welcome to the pageant life!

I first remember being introduced to the Miss California Latina (MCL) pageant a few years back when I was “YouTubing” and just happened to click on a MCL winner’s Youtube Channel, Vivian Fabiola. After doing a some research on the pageant, I remember thinking how great it was to see the contestants who look like your everyday ordinary girl. The Latina contestants looked like my own friends and like young women who I could really relate to. I visited the site quite a few times after being fascinated by Ms. Fabiola’s journalistic career (whom she thanked MCL for playing a part of her evolving career) and had often revisited her Youtube Channel for her latest posts. I had also often wondered if entering a pageant could potentially help launch my own career, especially since I too, studied Broadcast Journalism at San Jose State University. After being introduced to the pageant world, I put the thought of entering any type of pageant on hold as I pursued other opportunities like studying abroad in South America and playing a small role on a few episodes in Bravo TV’s reality show, Start-Ups: Silicon Valley

Fast forward to a few months ago: I was lounging around the house while surfing the web and just before I knew it, I was back on MCL’s website. I took a look at the requirements and in a matter of time, I began drafting my response of why I’d like to participate in the pageant. I sent the paperwork, turned off the computer and immediately called my family to let them know what I just did. No one in our immediate or extended family had ever participated in a pageant so they were quite surprised I had entered myself in the competition. About one month later and one interview completed, I received an email stating I had been accepted and would be representing the lovely city of San Jose, Calif. This pageant had become official and now I would be participating in the Miss California Latina event in November, with absolutely no experience but with SO much excitement.

With that, here I am today, sharing my journey of the unfamiliar with you. So, sit back and enjoy this new chapter of my life with me as I prepare for Miss California Latina!

Love,

Kassie P.