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Miss California Thursday Preliminary Winners Announced

Katie Wayland and Mackenzie Freed Miss California Preliminary Winners

Mackenzie Freed Miss Treasure Island

Miss Treasure Island Mackenzie Freed in swimwear by Kandice Pelletier

Miss Treasure Island Tops in Fitness

Receiving the Miss California Preliminary Lifestyle and Swimsuit in Fitness award for the Beta Group is Miss Treasure Island, Mackenzie Freed. Wearing a custom swimsuit designed by Kandice Pelletier Swimwear, Mackenzie receives a $300 scholarship sponsored by the Preliminary Pageant Association. This is the final year for Miss California contestants to compete in Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit as the competition will be retired beginning with Miss America on September 9.

Katie Wayland Miss Orange Coast Miss California

Miss Orange Coast Katie Wayland performed “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

Miss Orange Coast Wins Thursday Talent

On Thursday evening the Gamma group competed in preliminary talent, with presentations ranging from piano performances to vertical fitness. At the conclusion of the evening, Miss Orange Coast Katie Wayland was named the preliminary talent winner for her rendition of the Simon and Garfunkel classic “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Katie receives a $500 scholarship for her achievement, courtesy of the Fresno Clovis Visitors and Convention Bureau.

This evening in Miss California competition, the Beta Group will compete in On Stage Question, the Gamma Group will compete in Swimsuit & Evening Wear categories, and the Alpha Group will compete in the Talent competition. The competition will begin at 7 PM with the Miss California's Outstanding Teen final wrapping up the evening. Catch all the action via our live stream at MissCalifornia.org/live, brought to you by Nexstar Broadcasting, CBS 47 Fresno, and Live Light Technologies.

Photos courtesy of Doug Hikawa

Miss California’s Outstanding Teen Kicks off Preliminaries

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Teen contestants awarded scholarships

Cameron Doan Miss Anaheim's Outstanding Teen

Cameron Doan Miss Anaheim's Outstanding Teen entertained the crowd with a show twirl to “The Greatest Showman”

Miss California's Outstanding Teen competition began Wednesday, with Miss Anaheim's Outstanding Teen Cameron Doan taking the Preliminary Talent Award. Cameron performed an energetic baton routine to “The Greatest Showman” and receives a $500 scholarship courtesy of the Preliminary Pageant Association.

Ava Siniscalchi Miss Yorba Linda's Outstanding TeenWrapping up the evening's competition, Miss Yorba Linda's Outstanding Teen Ava Siniscalchi received top honors in the Evening Wear/On Stage Question portion, receiving a $300 scholarship sponsored by the Preliminary Pageant Association.

This evening in Miss California competition, the Alpha Group will compete in On Stage Question, the Beta Group will compete in Swimsuit & Evening Wear categories, and the Gamma Group will compete in the Talent competition. In the final night of Miss California's Outstanding Teen preliminary competition, the Omega Group will compete in both Talent and Physical Fitness, while the Tau Group will compete in the Evening Wear/On Stage Question portion.

Along with their respective scholarship, each of our preliminary award winners received trophies commemorating their achievement. The Miss California Organization thanks our sponsor California Trophy for their generous contribution to our program.

Join us at MissCalifornia.org beginning at 7 PM PDT for tonight's preliminaries streamed free courtesy of our partners CBS 47, Nexstar Entertainment, and Live Light Technologies.

All Photos Courtesy of Doug Hikawa

Miss California Night 1 Preliminary Winners

Sarell Diamond Sarah Dahdouh Nikki Holbrook

Miss California begins preliminary competition

Nikki Holbrook Miss Barbary Coast

Miss Barbary Coast Nikki Holbrook entertains with Edward Grieg's “Concerto in A Minor”

Pianist wins first-night talent award

Miss California and Miss California's Outstanding Teen kicked off the 2018 competition Wednesday at the William Saroyan Theatre in downtown Fresno. Taking home the Miss California Preliminary Talent Award for the Beta Group and a $500 scholarship sponsored by the Fresno/Clovis Visitors and Convention Bureau is Miss Barbary Coast Nikki Holbrook. Nikki performed Edward Grieg's “Concerto in A Minor” on the piano.

 

Sarell Diamond, Miss Hollywood

Miss Hollywood Sarell Diamond in swimwear by Kandice Pelletier

Tie in fitness competition

Tying for the Miss California Preliminary Lifestyle and Swimsuit in Fitness award for the Alpha Group are Miss Hollywood Sarell Diamond and Miss San Francisco Sarah Dahdouh. Each wore custom swimwear designed by Kandice Pelletier Swimwear, and both women will receive a $300 scholarship sponsored by the Preliminary Pageant Association. This is the final year for Miss California contestants to compete in Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit as the competition will be retired beginning with Miss America on September 9.

Sarah Dahdouh Miss San Francisco

Miss San Francisco Sarah Dahdouh in the Lifestyle and Fitness competition

This evening in Miss California competition, the Alpha Group will compete in On Stage Question, the Beta Group will compete in Swimsuit & Evening Wear categories, and the Gamma Group will compete in the Talent competition. The competition will begin directly after completion of the teen preliminary. Catch all the action via our live stream at MissCalifornia.org/live, brought to you by Nexstar Broadcasting, CBS 47 Fresno, and Live Light Technologies.

Photos courtesy of Doug Hikawa

 

Miss America 2.0

Today’s news has been history in the making for the Miss California and Miss America Organizations.  As Gretchen Carlson said on Good Morning America, the lifestyle and fitness competition will be removed at the national competition and the eveningwear will take on a new image that has yet to be revealed.  The focus going forward is going to be on empowering our young ladies for social impact on a large scale and realizing unlimited educational dreams and professional successes.

While all of our volunteers truly treasure the 97 years of tradition that we have embraced, updating the program to showcase the brilliance and relevance of the young women in our program is a powerful new focus.

The Miss California Competition held June 27-30, 2018 in Fresno, California and televised Statewide will remain unchanged.  The changes in judging criteria will be seen for the first time on September 9, 2018, when ABC presents the Miss America 2019 competition.

The Miss California Organization is a non-profit organization completely by volunteers.  If you want to purchase tickets, request a press pass for the State Finals or learn more about the Miss California Organization, please visit MissCalifornia.org or email info@MissCalifornia.org.

How Miss California helped me get a job with Stop Staring! Clothing | Miss Liberty Groves

Emma Grimes Miss Liberty Groves Stop Staring!When I first started in the Miss America Organization at the age of fifteen, I was very shy and introverted. I was not able to talk to any size group of people. I disliked having small talk conversations or giving a speech to many people. In spite of speaking shyness, when I got onstage to perform in piano, dance or acting, I would shine. I was a natural born performer and loved when I was able to be onstage. In 2014, I started in this organization in order to get some interview and speaking skills. Little did I know at the time, that the Miss America Organization would open up so many doors and opportunities in my life.

As my skills began to grow because of the Miss America Organization, I decided to major in communications in college, and soon got an amazing internship in this field of study. I began to work as the Intern Producer for an internet television show called “Open Up Live.” As their Intern Producer, I had many jobs like coordinating guest speakers, creating the show planners, helping run the behind the scenes, reporting local events at the newsdesk, and even being a guest co-host. This amazing show taught me skills that I would be able to use in my future career.

Miss Liberty GrovesDuring the summer of 2017, I saw in my local hometown newspaper that my favorite clothing company, Stop Staring! Clothing had moved their company to my hometown, Tehachapi, California. Stop Staring! Clothing has been around for 20 years now and I personally had been following the company for years before this! I was so excited when I saw the article, that I knew I wanted to stop by their new building in Tehachapi to check it out. I had hoped that I would be able to meet with the designer of Stop Staring! Clothing, Alicia Estrada to talk with her about her amazing designs and invite her on the internet television show “Open Up Live.” Luckily, I was able to meet with the designer and that started a new relationship with the company. I knew that Alicia Estrada was a Christian woman and soon found out that God had really brought us to meet each other.

I soon began to help Alicia Estrada with the fit modeling of dresses, and later got offered a job working in Stop Staring’s shipping warehouse and as the designer’s personal assistant. Stop Staring is a worldwide clothing company and they ship their dresses nationally and internationally. I began to get a whole new perspective on online shopping and ordering, and fashion and design. I then was offered a job in their first ever flagship Stop Staring! Boutique, which is where I currently work. I love working in the boutique because I always get to meet new people and learn more about fashion and communications.

Emma Grimes Miss Liberty Groves Stop Staring!In addition to having those jobs with Stop Staring, I also had some great modeling opportunities for the company. I was able to be on ABC 7 Los Angeles “Eye on LA” last November modeling the dresses. I also was in one of Stop Staring’s runway fashion shows, where I modeled many designs including the finale dress, last November as well. Most recently and most exciting, Stop Staring hired me to be a catalog model for their newest collection coming out near the end of 2018! To see a sneak peek of the Stop Staring photoshoot, watch my attached video!

I love working for Stop Staring! Clothing and the designer, Alicia Estrada! I have to give the thanks to the Miss America Organization for giving me the speaking and interviewing skills in order to obtain these amazing jobs. I cannot wait for all of the exciting things that are in store for me, not only with the Miss America Organization, but also with Stop Staring! Clothing! For more information you can find Stop Staring! Clothing online at stopstaringclothing.com.

Road Trip Through California with Songee!

Songee Barker FamilyHi there, my name is Songee Barker and I am proud to be Miss Golden Valley 2018! I am excited to compete at Miss California this June. In preparation, I’ve been reflecting on the road that got me to this point! Growing up, my family and I used to go on road trips each summer, so I thought it would be fun to take a virtual road trip through the beautiful state of California. Here are some of my favorite places, I hope you enjoy! Follow along with the stars on the map to see where we’re off to!

Stop 1: Redwood National and State Parks – Spanning nearly 40 miles along the state and national parks here are home to some of the tallest trees in the world! It’s truly a humbling and surreal experience to visit and look up at the giant redwoods (here’s a photo with me in it for scale)!

pleasantonsignStop 2: Pleasanton, CA – This is where I was born! One of my favorite spots in town is the Meadowlark drive-through dairy, my family and I would stop by after a soccer or t-ball game to get soft serve ice cream! (here’s a photo with a giant ice cream for scale…kidding ☺)

Songee Barker Miss Golden ValleyStop 3: Mammoth Lakes – One of the best ski spots in the world! (I might be biased on that but after visiting Colorado this winter that claim checks out in my books!). For me to enjoy skiing takes a lot because I hate being cold so, if you’re looking for some great powder and a beautiful ski town be sure to check Mammoth out!

Stop 4: The Golden Valley  (aka the beautiful area I have the honor of representing this year!) – Located in California’s Central Valley, our state’s agricultural hub, where over 360 products are produced. The Golden Valley is sprouting with stunning groves and orchards that seem to go on as far as the eye can see! In addition to growing delicious produce and dairy, this area also grows some of the warmest and welcoming people I have ever met (this may be a personal bias, but it holds true!)

32327688_10211400245663280_1044742239177146368_nStop 5: Death Valley National Park – California is home to nine National Parks (I have been to five of them!). One of the most diverse and interesting is Death Valley, its Bad Water Basin is 282 ft below sea level, the lowest point in North America! Here you can find salt flats, mosaic rocks, sand dunes, and more! Just be sure to pack lots of water because the heat in Death Valley is intense!

Stop 6: Sandstone Peak – Sandstone Peak is the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains. You can take the Mishe Mokwa Trail, a beautiful six-mile hike, to get to the top. Once you’re there be sure to take in the view of the ocean and snap some pictures! When you’re done hiking you can take a quick drive out to the coast and relax at some famous Malibu Beaches! There is also a race every year long the Malibu coastline, that my family and I ran last year!

196498_1567004936480_5754683_n (2)Stop 7: Newport Beach – Newport Beach, CA is a wonderful place to catch some waves! It’s also where I had my first job at the historic Lido Regency movie theater! If you’re in Newport consider taking a surf lesson or catching a movie!

Stop 8: Belmont Park – Located in San Diego (also where my Miss California roommate is from, Hi Miss San Diego!) Belmont Park is home to one of the oldest wooden roller coasters! When I was young my family used to vacation here with our cousins and I vividly remember just barely being tall enough to ride the roller coaster (warning Baby Songee pic!)!

I hope you enjoyed my quick tour of California, from the North to the South this is a magnificent State! I love exploring this beautiful state and hopefully, you’re inspired to explore too! Thank you for reading along, I’ll see you in Fresno this June!

All the Best,

Songee Barker

Miss Golden Valley 2018

Lauren Herring | Miss Clovis

Miss-Clovis-Lauren-HerringHi, I'm Lauren Herring, Miss Clovis 2018! Since 1924 the Miss California Organization has been pumping out scholarship queens and childhood dreams. Since 2017 I've been lucky enough to benefit from this organization. Going into the program I only had a small idea of what I was getting myself into. No one can really explain the look in a small child's eyes when they see a girl with big hair and a sparkly crown on their head, and no one can really explain how it will make you feel.

The four points of the crown are service, scholarship, style, and success. If I had to add a fifth S, it would be strength, because boy oh boy do you have to be strong for this job. You don't realize the extent of your importance until you're expected to show up and just be yourself. That's the most admirable thing about this Organization, you get a sash and a crown and a nation-wide platform, just for being yourself. Not only that, but you get to be yourself and be an advocate for whatever you want.

Another unexplainable perk you won't understand until post-crowning is how much you can impact the people you meet. I learned from Uncle Ben (Spider-Man reference) that with great power comes great responsibility. The second you put on that crown, you become the most convincing person in the room. As Miss Clovis I wanted my platform to be all about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.) STEM education and careers are important because these are the careers that dictate the way our world works. My platform also focuses on encouraging girls and young women to pursue STEM to create a greater female presence within the STEM industry.

Women are important and what they can't explain to you before become a title holder is that it's the kids that make you feel most important. Beyond my personal platform is the MAO official platform, the Children's Miracle Network. If you ever lose hope in humanity just know there's 80 + queens with 80 + people behind them working to make sure every child has proper medical treatment.

What they can explain to you, is that these moments are special, so take lots of pictures. They can tell you that you're going to make a lot of friends and these friends will stay with you throughout your lifetime. They can tell you that the year is short, and while I've only been Miss Clovis a few short months, they've been the quickest few months of my life.

I can tell you that this is so much more than what I expected, but so much more in the best possible way.

Alyssa Scofield | Miss San Fernando Valley

Alyssa Scofield Miss San Fernando ValleyMy name is Alyssa Scofield and I am Miss San Fernando Valley 2018! I am so excited to represent this beautiful city in Fresno at Miss California come June. Through my title, I am able to promote my platform Knowledge is Power which works to promote education reform state wide. I graduated with a degree in Elementary and Special Education from Arizona State University and you can probably guess, education reform has always been a passion of mine. After graduating from ASU, I took a job as a full-time 5th grade teacher in an incredibly low income school district. I had 35 students in one classroom. As you can imagine the classroom was overcrowded and the amount of classroom supplies I had access to were incredibly scarce so I had to purchase my own. The air conditioning would constantly break, the kids did not have access to a school psychiatrist, and in some cases there were more children in classrooms than there were desks. All of my students families fell far below the poverty line and in some cases some of my students were even homeless. Every day when I got home I would constantly think about what more I could do for these amazing children. That’s when I really started working with my platform. Through Knowledge is Power I am able to communicate the importance of education to a wide range of individuals from teachers to politicians. In Los Angeles I worked in the office of Mayor Eric Garcetti as the chairwoman of the Mayors Youth Council. This amazing program not only focused on Education Reform, but also helped students get more involved in their community.  Through my title as Miss San Fernando Valley I am able to continue my fight for equal education regardless of race, gender, or socio economic status.

alyssa-Scofield-TalentThe Miss America program has also helped me live out another one of my passions. Dance! I have been dancing since the age of three and haven't stopped since.I have danced in the AFL, NFL, and the NBA.  I love performing because I love to see others smile! Through the Miss America organization I have gained over $3000 in scholarships that helped me continue my passion for education and dance. I am eternally grateful for everything this organization has given me and can’t wait to continue my service as a local title holder!

Currently I am working in Los Angeles as an in home Education Therapist and in my free time, I also work as a cycling instructor. Physical fitness and eating healthy are also very important to me so I love to stay healthy and active!
Thank you for following along as I work to obtain my dream job! See you in Fresno!

Catching up with Crystal Lee, Miss California 2013

Crystal Lee, Miss California 2013Crystal Lee served the Golden State as Miss California 2013, placing first runner up and taking home over $45,000 in scholarship money. A double graduate of Stanford University, she has a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology and a master’s degree in Media Studies. After her year as Miss California, she went on to found the startup Lifesite.co, and is now busy hosting This is SF, a weekly lifestyle show that features the bay area’s best restaurants, events, and more! We caught up with Crystal to learn more about what she’s up to now.

You’ve recently joined This is SF as a host- what’s one thing that surprised you about your new role?

One thing that surprised me is that in the world of professional video production, clean sound quality is the most important thing. In the city, it’s not rare for us to be recording and needing to pause when a garbage truck begins to back up or an airplane flies overhead. Those beeps will ruin the voice recording because there’s no way to edit out interruptions.

Also, the entrepreneurs, hustlers, and passion-driven leaders who make this show inspire and surprise me every day. There are some amazing stories out there. I profiled some Kurdish, Ethiopian, and Guatemalan immigrants who all embody the American Dream in their unique way. Their place in the show represents the culmination of years of hard work and resilience, and I’m overjoyed to be able to share that moment with them.

Crystal Lee This is SFTell us a little bit about the show!

The show is a lifestyle series that profiles the best experiences that the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer. It’s a similar format to a Food Network travel show with a host trying out activities, eating food, and engaging with the business owner. The hosting style is informal, lighthearted, and enthusiastic. Unlike Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives which focuses only on food, This is SF also showcases categories like pets, fitness, health and wellness, sports, and even wedding and wine country!

How did your year as Miss California prepare you to host a lifestyle TV show?

Crystal Lee Miss California 2013My years of competing helped me develop a voice and personality that I’m comfortable unleashing on camera. MAO interview preparation taught me to be unabashedly myself. To host this type of show, a majority of which is unscripted, I need to channel the most authentic version of myself. The best segments I’ve done were when I forgot the camera was even there.

This show has given me the chance to meet many people from all walks of life and backgrounds. It’s my responsibility to help them relax and feel comfortable speaking on camera. I often only have a few minutes to establish a quick rapport before the camera starts to roll. In those moments I try to show the business owner that I’ve done my research on their brand and crack a joke or two to share a laugh. The best way to combat their nerves is by sending out lots of positive and reassuring energy.

Crystal Lee This is SFMiss California, Googler, tech entrepreneur, lifestyle show host; you’ve had some vastly different roles in the past five years. Do you find that people try to put you in a “box” and label you as one thing, and if so, how do you address that?

I believe people who  “put me in a box” are just trying their best to comprehend who I am in the context of their existing mental models. Since my career arc isn’t particularly common, I don’t expect anyone to grasp it all. I don’t get offended when people label me because their drawing from their own personal experiences to understand what I do. Oftentimes the labels come out when they want a certain side of me to lead a collaboration. For instance, “tech” Crystal will be asked to judge a pitch day competition, while “pageant” Crystal will be asked to do media projects.

Crystal Lee This is SFAny exciting plans for the rest of 2018?

I applied for an arts grant to make a short film examining the intersection of immigration and food in San Francisco Chinatown. Since Circle 8 Productions gave me the opportunity to host This is SF, I’ve been wanting to explore the producing side and I’m going to start right here in my backyard with the oldest, largest, and most storied Chinatown in North America.

As a Chinese-American, I’ve personally grown up between two cultures so I’ve always been intrigued by places that sit in the middle, embodying the merging of unique, distinct identities. Following this theme, I’ve decided this summer to visit San Sebastian, Spain. It’s in Basque country between Spain and France. I’m already thrilled for what I might discover there.

The Miss California class of ‘18 has just been completed; any advice for the girls vying for the title?

  1. At least twice, run through every area of competition in its entirety, full-out. If you can’t get access to a stage, rent out a dance studio with a mirror. It’s really important to do it full-out, 100%. Have all wardrobe, shoes, smiling, hair done, your tan, and stage makeup done. Do your talent as if it was the real thing. As a bonus, film yourself and watch it so you can see what the judges see. You’d be surprised how many contestants don’t do this. They just don’t think about it.
  1. Get used to speaking extemporaneously in public. If you’re not comfortable yet, make it your mission to find ways to practice. There are plenty of options. You can speak at church, go to Toastmasters, stand up and talk during family dinners, raise your hand in class, make a presentation at a nursing home, teach or lead a workshop, attend a school’s Read-Aloud Day, take a public speaking class… the list goes on. Go out and do all of it!

More advice will be assembled in a standalone resource later this Spring at www.crystalclues.com

The Miss California Organization Elects New Board Members

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jessa Carmack

April 18, 2018 jessacarmack@misscalifornia.org

MISS CALIFORNIA ORGANIZATIONS ELECTS TWO NEW BOARD MEMBERS

(FRESNO, CA) The Miss California Organization gathered for their annual orientation last weekend in Fresno, California. All 83 state finalists spent the weekend in meetings, workshops and meeting their fellow local titleholders. In addition to the contestant activities, the Miss California Board of Directors accepted two nominations to the Board. They are pleased to welcome two new board members, David Bonetto and Connie Oliver.

David-Bonetto-Miss-California-Board-of-DirectorsDavid Bonetto has over 45 years of multi-dance experience including training in tap, jazz, ballet, and numerous other facets of the arts. He has designed the performing arts program at DanceWorks Unlimited to build self-expression, mental and physical discipline, and personal motivation through the art of dance. Bonetto is on faculty at Fresno City College in the dance department and serves as a consultant to Fresno Unified School District conducting workshops and choreography. For the last 20 years, he has had an active role in the beauty and design industry as a visual artist and marketing director. In 2016, Bonetto sat on the judging panel for the Miss California competition.

Oliver_Connie_0304Connie Oliver is entering her 20th year in the Miss America Organization. Oliver began her volunteer work with the organization as the producer of the Miss Culver City Pageant. Since that time, she has served as the executive director of the Miss Culver City competition and spearheaded the beginning of various new local programs. Oliver has volunteered in many capacities with the organization, serving as prep chair for Miss California, sponsor chair, has been on the state staff for over 10 years and has judged state programs in Hawaii, Nevada, Washington and Oregon.

The 2018 Miss California & Miss California’s Outstanding Teen state finals preliminary competition will take place at the Saroyan Theatre in Downtown Fresno, June 27-29. Miss California’s Outstanding Teen 2018 will be crowned on Friday, June 29th. Miss California 2018 will be crowned on Saturday, June 30th.

About the Miss California Organization:

The Miss California Scholarship Organization is a volunteer based 501c(3) non-profit organization which was founded in 1924. As the Official State Final to Miss America, the Miss California Organization has awarded more than $6 million in cash and academic scholarships Miss California Organization | since the competition made its home in Fresno in 1994. Nurturing an ideal of beauty that includes dignity, courage, intelligence, creative talent and kindness, the successful contestants demonstrate a genuine commitment to serving others. Every year the Miss California’s Outstanding Teen and Miss California contestants make significant contributions to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals by raising funds and spreading awareness throughout the state. To learn more, visit misscalifornia.org.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MissCAOrg

Instagram/Twitter: @MissCAOrg