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Education is key to reaching for the stars

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Education is key to reaching for the stars

Miss Manteca Myklyn Balmut at last year’s Hit the Streets for Hunger run.

Photo by Leonard Photography/

POSTED March 2, 2013 12:58 a.m.

It is nearly time to crown a new Miss Manteca.

This year marks the 45th annual crowning of one lucky young woman who will serve as an official youth representative for the city of Manteca. The crown and sash, sponsored by Manteca Youth Focus, are also accompanied by a $1,000 educational scholarship and sponsorship to the 2014 California State Youth Accolades Scholarship Competition. This year’s competition will take place on Friday, March 8, at 6 p.m. at Calvary Community Church in Manteca.

Current reigning Miss Manteca 2012, Myklyn Balmut, returns home this weekend to deliver farewell remarks and participate in the annual Leadership Dinner in recognition of all of the 2012 MYF scholarship recipients. Balmut, an 18-year old graduate of Manteca High School is attending her first year of college at the University of Southern California, majoring in Chemical Engineering. She is also a member of the Freshman Science Honors Program. She has continued as an avid volunteer servant while at USC as a member of the Campus Crusaders for Christ and the “Spirit of Troy” Trojan Marching Band Silk Team, the school’s award-winning color guard.

During the past year Balmut attended numerous community events throughout Northern California representing her hometown and also completed her community advocacy project which focused on the Manteca High School “Success Locker” program. She collected donations of items such as clothing, school supplies and personal hygiene products to be handed out to students in need. As a result she was able to help students focus more fully on their school work by not having to worry about the financial burden of finding money to buy these items in these tough economic times.

We spent some time with Myklyn recently to find out more about her year as Miss Manteca and her plans for the future.

Why did you enter the Manteca Youth Focus Scholarship Competitions?

I have always had very big dreams regarding education, and unfortunately I found that big dreams come with an even bigger price tag. This competition gave me a way to continue to reach for the stars without worrying as much about tuition and other expenses. However, I also knew that I would most likely be attending college out of the area, and I wanted an opportunity to represent my city and Manteca Youth Focus, an organization that played a vital role in my development, before embarking on my journey through life. I wanted my last year before college to be filled with memories and experiences I could take with me wherever I ended up.

What was the most memorable part of your year as Miss Manteca?

When I reflect on my year, what stands out most is definitely the members of my all-star team. The experiences I had were made special because of the people I was able to share them with. It is truly exciting to witness how much potential our city has to offer the future.

What advice do you have for the 2013 contestants competing next week?

Do not let stress and nerves take away from the fun of competing. This is honestly a once in a lifetime experience, and if you are truly having fun, you will be competing at your best. Be the best you that you can be.

What is in store for you in the future? 

A very important goal of mine is to represent Manteca and Manteca Youth Focus the best I can as I compete for Miss California State this summer. I am also working towards completing my degree in Chemical Engineering on time and on the honor roll. After graduation, I plan to return to Northern California and find a job at either the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory or the Sandia National Laboratory.

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