Michelle Pappas wants to work as a psychologist helping young adults.
Pappas, 17, is one of the eight Ripon young ladies hoping to wear the Almond Blossom crown for the upcoming festival Feb. 26-28 and filling the shoes of Miss Ripon for the remainder of the year.
“In the future I hope to become a psychologist for young adults because I would love to wake up every morning knowing that what I do for a living somehow impacts others in a positive way,” Michelle said.
Her friends have told her that the three words that best describe her personality are “generous, thoughtful and energetic.”
She has been on Ripon High School’s tennis and golf teams as well as being involved with the Gay Straight Alliance, Metanoia and color guard clubs. She is currently the secretary of Rotary’s Interact Club and was the Libero of the Lady Sharx Volleyball.
Michelle has also served as a group leader for Big Valley Grace Kids Campus Program from her freshman year to present and worked in the church Thanksgiving Outreach Program along with being activities director for its Vacation Bible School in her senior year.
On a church mission trip to Mexico, she served as a teacher, construction worker and interpreter making a difference for the less fortunate.
She said the Ripon Almond Queen Contest appealed to her because it is not the traditional beauty contest but rather based on the focus of poise, personality and community contributions.
“I am a shy person and normally wouldn’t put myself in a situation that would result with many eyes on me. I feel that running for Miss Ripon/Almond Blossom will assist me greatly in building my self-confidence. I feel that this experience will teach me many lessons that will be useful in life as well,” she said.
She said that learning proper etiquette in the process and wearing dresses that make me feel important is exciting as a teenage girl. Michelle said she would like to win the crown to be the voice and the example for others like her that don’t have the courage to put themselves in an uncomfortable situation in order to conquer their fears.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email firstname.lastname@example.org.