This year marks the 46th annual crowning of Miss Manteca.
One young woman from the community will be tasked to 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 2015 California State Youth Accolades Scholarship Competition. This year’s competition will take place on Friday, March 7, at 6:30 p.m. at Calvary Community Church in Manteca. Tickets are $5 and available at the door.
Current reigning Miss Manteca 2013 Carolina Gutierrez delivered her farewell remarks on Sunday at the annual Leadership Dinner in recognition of all of the 2013 MYF scholarship recipients. Gutierrez, a 17-year old senior at East Union High School, has plans to attend a four-year university next year studying biological sciences and genetics.
During the past year Gutierrez attended numerous community events throughout Northern California representing her hometown and also completed her community advocacy project which focused on promoting “My Time 2 Drive” and teach her peers about the inherant dangers of distracted driving. With the help of her school administration, McKinley-Sausser-Mello Insurance Agency, and the Manteca Police Department, Gutierrez spent an entire day at East Union last November. She led presentations to nearly 350 Driver’s Ed and Health students, sharing information about the dangers of distracted driving.
Students signed pledges, received a ring, and signed a banner that will be hung on campus to serve as a reminder throughout the years. They also participated in hands-on activities with Manteca PD officers using vision impairment goggles to emphasize the real danger of distracted.
The Directors spent some time with Carolina 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?
This competition was a complete step into uncharted territory. I was the newest, youngest, and least experienced contestant in my age group. But after attending an informational meeting, I knew that Manteca Youth Focus was a perfect fit. This organization would challenge me in ways that I couldn’t. Regardless of the outcome, I knew the competition would be a memorable experience. I wanted to join an entire new family, acquire life-long skills, and become an active member in my community; MYF would allow me to do just that and much more!
• What was the most memorable part of your year as Miss Manteca?
Early in the morning on major patriotic holidays, I help place American Flags in permanent mounts in the sidewalks throughout our city. Manteca Youth Focus teams up and takes responsibility for a specified section in our city. I remember on Armed Forces Day, my siblings and I woke up at 4 in the morning for the first time to participate in this activity known as “Flags over Manteca” which is sponsored by the Manteca Chamber of Commerce. Everyone who drove through our streets was mesmerized as they passed the hundreds of flags. I look forward to these events; knowing that these flags honor our country and servicemen who risk their lives fighting for our nation. I recognize that something as simple as “Flags over Manteca” can go a long way. This is why I find it important for my community and I to show just how appreciative we are about their dedication and how proud we are to live in this wonderful country.
• What advice do you have for the 2014 contestants competing this week?
Be confident in your abilities and willing to challenge yourself. With the right determination, you can achieve your goals.
• What is in store for you in the future?
One of my future goals is to graduate from East Union High School with honors. After that, I plan to attend a four-year university. My science classes have always sparked an interest and I loved learning about genetics and how organisms evolve. This is why I want to study biology when I enter my freshman year of college. My goal is to receive a B.A. in Biological Sciences and become a Biologist.
For more information on Manteca Youth Focus programs visit their website at www.MantecaYouthFocus.org or contact Shim Lacy-Watson, director at 209-518-3915.