The lights were dimmed, the spotlight in motion, and the red curtain was raised as the annual Miss Texas A&M University- Kingsville Scholarship Pageant contestants walked the stage Saturday night in Jones Auditorium.
Out of a group of ten contestants, junior bilingual education major Jo-Ana Medrano was crowned 2013 Miss TAMUK and received a $2,000 scholarship.
“It’s very special. I feel very happy right now, great experience,” she said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever done anything like this and it just warms my heart to have been able to be here to experience this.”
The contestants competed in categories such as casual attire, evening gown, and a speech about their education experience at TAMUK.
Medrano’s parents migrated to South Texas from San Luis Potosi, Mexico in 1998 when she was only six years old. Her battle with the language barrier is what led her into the bilingual education program at TAMUK.
“The program has truly made my higher education experience unique because it has allowed me to open my mind and pursue a vast amount of opportunities for learning,” said Medrano.
Medrano was not the only one that walked away with smiles that night.
Isabella Figueroa received a $1,200 scholarship as first runner up.
Kassandra Canales won Miss Lantana, named after the university’s flower for its simplicity in beauty and elegance. She also received a $750 scholarship and placed second runner up.
Other notable awards given were Miss Congeniality to Georgia M. Dunn and Miss Photogenic to Alyssa D. Rivera.
Medrano’s journey as 2013 Miss TAMUK did not end Saturday night. She will continue to hold her title throughout the year at any university events and festivities.
“I hope to grow a lot as a person and just
to be able to understand my school more and to just do great,” said Medrano.