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Candidate hopes to sharpen her life skills
Chantyl Vasquez - photo by Photo Contributed


• WHAT: 48th Almond Blossom Festival
• WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 25, thru Sunday, Feb. 28
• WHERE: Ripon Community Center
• MORE INFO: Call Ripon chamber at 599-7519

RIPON – Chantyl Vasquez is hoping that making a run for Miss Almond Blossom will help her build valuable life skills.

The Ripon High School junior is one of six girls vying for the title currently held by Camila Sweaney. She will join fellow Miss Ripon hopefuls Sarah Ambrose, Annaliese Ippolito, Joie Darretta, Megan Kuhn, and Karena Stephens tonight at the Almond Blossom Kick-off dinner – the first time that the six candidates will be introduced to the public.

Each of the girls will deliver a speech after the dinner – which begins at 7 p.m. at the Ripon Community Center on 4th Street – concludes.

“I remember being in fifth grade and seeing the girls riding in the parade and thinking, ‘I want to do that,’” Vasquez said. “So far it has been really fun and really interesting, and I’m glad that I’m a part of it.”

The daughter of Ajay and Jessica Vasquez, Chantyl is heavily involved in the community through volunteer work that includes preparing for the Central Valley Foster Care Christmas party and serving as the Chapter President of FHA Hero. She is also a varsity cheerleader, and enjoys reading books and baking in her spare time.

“One of the things that I’m definitely going to take from this is the knowledge of what to do and what not to do in a professional setting,” Vasquez said. “I’m hoping to get more of an understanding of what it’s like to be in the pageant, go to lunches, meet new people, and being able to have conversations where you learn about the other person you’re talking to.

“I’m really looking forward to learning how to do things like that properly, and I think that will be a huge benefit to me as I mature and get older.”

While she still has a year before making any final college decisions, Vasquez is hoping to attend a school like UC Santa Barbara right out of high school where she plans on majoring in political science.

She currently has a 3.8 cumulative GPA, and harbors ambitions to become a lawyer once she has completed her education.

The 2010 Ripon Almond Blossom Festival will begin on Thursday, Feb. 25, with the crowning of the 2010 Miss Almond Blossom at the Community Center. The carnival and the festival will begin on Friday, with the parade to begin on Saturday morning.