• WHAT: Manteca Youth Focus competition
• WHEN: Miss Manteca (16 to 20 years) on Friday, March 13, at 6 p.m.; other divisions (10 to 12 & 13 to 15) on Saturday, March 14, at 11 a.m.
• WHERE: Calvary Community Church, Lathrop Road, Manteca
• ADMISSION: Tickets are $5 per show
March brings the annual Manteca Youth Focus scholarship competitions, a 20-year institution in our community.
This week we will crown a new Miss Manteca. One lucky young woman will be join a select group as the 44th young lady chosen to represent 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 2016 California State Youth Accolades Scholarship Competition. In 1995, MYF took over coordinating the program which originated in 1968 with the Manteca Chamber of Commerce crowning the very first Miss Manteca Karla Anderson (Bishop). This year’s competition will showcase 8 young ladies and will take place on Friday, March 13, at 6 p.m. at Calvary Community Church in Manteca.
Current reigning Miss Manteca 2014, Priscilla Alexandra Ohnmacht, is excited to welcome home her Miss Manteca sisters this weekend during the competition festivities. She is only the second person in the history of the competition to win all three age-division crowns
This past weekend she delivered her farewell remarks to over 150 attendees at the annual Leadership Luncheon held in recognition of all of the 2014 MYF scholarship recipients. Mayor Steve DeBrum and Council Members Vince Hernandez and Mike Morowit were on hand to bestow their congratulations and certificates of commendation to Ohnmacht and her co-captains. Other dignitaries included Joanne Beattie, Director of the Manteca Chamber of Commcere, Steve Bestolarides of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, Andy Prokop – CEO of the United Way of San Joaquin County as well as representatives from the Manteca Sunrise Kiwanis, Second Harvest Food Bank and Youth Focus Inc. of San Jose. Ohnmacht was particularly touched to receive a personal commendation from a representative of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in recognition of her 4-year commitment to fundraising on behalf of the organization.
Ohnmacht, a 16-year old junior attending Sierra High School created a team “Paulina’s Believers” for the annual LLS “Light the Night Walk” which takes place each year in Sacramento. “The Light the Night Walk is a fundraising campaign,” explained Ohnmacht, “It brings together families and communities to honor blood cancer survivors as well as those who have lost loved ones to these diseases and to ‘shine a light’ on the importance of finding cures and providing access to treatment for blood cancer patients.” To date she has raised over $1,400 to help fund research and patient support. She was inspired to take on the project in memory of Paulina Antemante, her classmate at Stella Brockman Elementary School, who was diagnosed with Leukemia and eventually lost her life after her diagnosis. In addition to her fundraising efforts, Ohnmacht increased her involvement in the event by serving as a volunteer on the committee working at the children’s game zone and also standing along the walk route holding signs with the names of loved ones lost to inspire walkers along the route. Her parents, Greg and Lillian, were proud to support their daughter’s efforts and walked alongside her as well as various friends from SHS and MYF.
Ohnmacht is also an honor student, Lobo Gold recipient and President of the Junior Class at Sierra High School. She has volunteered over 2000 hours to community organizations and causes including the Manteca Chamber of Commerce, Manteca Sunrise Kiwanis, Manteca Convention & Visitors Bureau, Boys & Girls Clubs of Manteca/Lathrop, Second Harvest Food Bank, American Cancer Society, Multiple Sclerosis Society and American Heart Association.
Her passion for service was encouraged by her mentor and MYF alumnus, Amanda Rosas. Rosas and Ohnmacht share a unique historical significance in the history of MYF as they are the only two women thus far to have served as “triple crown” winners, having earned the titles of Miss Young Manteca, Miss Teen Manteca and Miss Manteca. Ohnmacht truly considers Rosas to be her biggest influence outside her family and hopes to continue to follow in her footsteps as she competes the summer in the California State Youth Accolades Scholarship Competition in Santa Clara for the title of Miss California State, a title which Rosas held in 2010.
We spent some time with Priscilla 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’ve been part of the Manteca Youth Focus family since I was 12 years old. My goal since then was to earn the privilege of becoming Miss Manteca and serving my community. I am always looking for new ways to challenge myself and grow as a person. Competing for Miss Manteca has allowed me to do so and has been one of the greatest experiences of my life so far.
• What was the most memorable part of your year as Miss Manteca?
It’s difficult to pick just one moment. My entire year as Miss Manteca was an amazing experience. I felt respected and loved by my community and that was the biggest reward. To represent the city of Manteca this past year has been an honor.
• What advice do you have for the contestants competing this year?
Enjoy the experience and have fun! Preparing for the competition can be a bit nerve wracking but I promise you, it will be an experience that you will remember for a lifetime.
• What is in store for you in the future?
I plan to continue to serve as a leader at Sierra High School and as a leader in my community during my year as a high school senior. One of my goals is to graduate Sierra High with honors and attend a four -year university. I plan to pursue a degree in the medical field and go on to join the Air Force. Helping people has always been a passion of mine. My purpose in life is to help others and make a difference in their lives.