The long-awaited night arrived for the 12 bright young women competing in the Miss Patterson pageant last Friday. Up to four of them would be chosen for the cohort; only one could be awarded the 2019 Miss Patterson sash.
All 12 of them will take what they’ve learned through the experience forward with them into their futures.
The girls, ages 17 to 19 (16-year-old high school juniors can also enter), have spent a lot of time together over the past several months. They have had opportunities to interact with both each other and the public, in various settings, in that time. Those experiences have boosted their confidence, and helped prepare them for the next phase in their lives.
Friday night’s activities for the young women upheld all of the traditions: a dance routine that had all of the girls on stage, smiling and waving to the crowd; the “swim suit” portion, which, no doubt, to the disappointment of the males in the audience and the relief of all the moms, did not feature a single bikini: instead, the young women walked around the stage in an outfit that was much closer to a cover-up than anything held together by strings.
The young women were also given an opportunity to answer a question based on their interests, and to explain its importance or influence on their lives. The question is given to them shortly before the beginning of the pageant; their answers were the last the judges would hear from the candidates until the names of the 2019 Miss Patterson cohort was announced.
They’ve gotten to know each other well enough in that time to recognize one of their own as exceptionally friendly and likeable, voting her Miss Congeniality. These young women chose Sierra Gutierrez, 17, who is a junior at Modesto High School, to wear the sash.
Second Runner Up
Jacinda Hernandiz, 16, is a junior at Patterson High School. She is active in ASB, and wants to get a degree in nursing.
First Runner Up
Heather Linville, 18, plans to study medicine in the future, and hopes to be a strong influence in her community.
Taylor Stotts, 17, has been doing pageants since she was little, she said, and had been unable to continue for family reasons.
Taylor and her family moved here from Sacramento a few years ago, and when she watched her first Miss Patterson pageant, “that’s what I want to do,” she said, and explained that she’d had to stop competing.
Watching her first Miss Patterson pageant, she said, she decided she wanted to try it again.
“I’ve had a lot of challenges throughout my high school, and it kind of set me back, and I was like, ‘am I ready for this?’ And then, as we went through, I was a little nervous, but these girls helped me be able to be confident in myself.”
Taylor said she was “kind of surprised” when she won. “I mean, everybody wants to win, you know, but… we all kind of talked about, like, it’s more about the journey than about the outcome. So I think I was really like, ‘oh, my god, like, it really happened! I’m Miss Patterson!’” She was “so surprised,” she said, “but very happy, and very blessed.”
Taylor described the pageant experience as “empowering. It kind of put a thought back in my head, like, I really can do anything I work real hard for, and I set my mind to.”