Rachel Kelly was crowned Miss Ramona 2022 and Joanna Abarca was crowned Teen Miss Ramona 2022 on November 6 Miss Ramona and Teen Miss Ramona Scholarship Pageant held at Mountain View Community Church.
Two young women entered the Miss Ramona pageant with eight girls in the Teen Miss pageant. On stage, they performed a group dance routine and participated in an informal competition in which they introduced themselves and shared information about Ramona’s story. After that, they entered an evening dress contest in which they each answered an impromptu question.
The candidates also bid farewell to outgoing Queen Ciara Webb, who appeared in a video presentation in which she thanked her supporters. The recognition also went to a handful of judges and visiting royalty from Fallbrook, Borrego Springs, Lakeside and Julian.
Kelly, 17, competed for two years as a teenager and won a Miss Congeniality Award in 2018 and a Miss People’s Choice Award in 2019. But nothing compares to the title of Miss Ramona for the third time, has it. she declared.
One of its goals for the coming year is to educate young people about the FFA and 4-H programs. Kelly has been involved with the 4-H club since the age of 6, showing mostly rabbits and steers, but has recently become involved in the club’s craft programs. One of his favorite craft projects was hooking a miniature farm and a horse, ox, chicken, pig and sheep.
“I really want to educate the kids that 4-H and FFA is not just about farming,” she said after receiving her crown and belt. “There are other programs like crochet, crafting, and self defense, mostly in 4-H, but FFA also teaches a lot more.
The first year of Palomar College said she plans to use her scholarship money for her college expenses. She is working on an associate’s degree in liberal arts or child development, she said, and intends to move on to California State University at San Marcos.
Kelly aspires to work as an elementary school teacher or child therapist.
She said participating in the Miss Ramona pageant would help her achieve her goals.
“It’s a great opportunity to learn other skills like interviewing, performing on stage, writing a speech and writing a resume,” she said.
As the new holder of the Teen Miss title, 13-year-old Abarca said she was excited to attend events and take on new responsibilities.
“It’s very exciting and I’m very nervous for what the year has in store for me,” said middle school eighth grader Olive Peirce. “I can’t wait to spend time meeting new people and getting to know queens and princesses.”
It was the first time Abarca had entered the contest after being inspired by her older sister, Brianna Abarca, who had participated in previous years. Joanna Abarca said she plans to use her scholarship money for a college education that would help her become a novelist.
In her spare time, Abarca plays softball, participates in her school’s Associated Student Body, and volunteers at Ramona Elementary School where she helps with before and after school programs, activities and clubs.
The Miss Teen candidates introduced themselves and answered impromptu questions.
McKenzie Udvarhelyi, 13, is considering attending UCLA to become a pediatrician. His answer to the question “What are three words to describe Ramona?” Was “Small, welcoming and friendly”.
Maya Collins, 13, wants a career as a cardiothoracic surgeon. His answer to the question “What has been your greatest achievement?” Was “Achieve all 4.0 GPAs and stay responsible in school.”
Erika Laws, 13, hopes to become a doctor or a lawyer. His answer to the question “If you could give your youngster one piece of advice, what would it be?” Was “To be more confident and not overthink other people’s opinions of yourself.”
Samantha Spann, 13, is considering becoming a veterinarian. His answer to the question “If you could have dinner with someone dead or alive, who would it be?” Was “Michael Jackson, because I love his music”.
Karsen LeClair, 13, wants to pursue a career in fashion. His answer to the question “What is the best quality from a friend?” Was “For him to support you and take care of you in whatever you need.”
14-year-old Mary-Jane Neifeld plans to attend culinary school to become a pastry chef. His answer to the question “What do you like most about yourself?” Was “My sense of humor because I like to make people laugh and I like to make people happy.”
Emily Grothe, 16, plans to study agriculture with an emphasis on equine science. His response to “Where do you see yourself in the next five years?” Was “get a college degree with a degree in equine science or agricultural science and work in a career where I can help animals.”
Miss Ramona candidate Madelyn Santa is a 17-year-old high school student from Ramona High who plans to study mechanical engineering at university. Santa Claus won the title of Miss Ramona Princess. She said she looked forward to speaking to the youth in the community and being a role model for the young women in Ramona.
“It’s so exciting,” she said of her title. “I am so proud of all my sisters around us. I feel like we have all grown up today as individuals.
Outgoing Queen Webb, 21, attends Palomar College and is about to enter the school’s nursing program. As a paramedic at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, Webb assists the hospital’s trauma department, providing wound care and support to people who have suffered falls, car crashes or who show signs of ‘they could have a stroke. She said she hopes to someday work in an intensive care unit for burns or as a flight nurse to care for patients as they are transported to hospitals.
Webb described her role as Miss Ramona 2019-21 as an “incredible experience.” She said she attended events around Ramona including rodeos and American Graffiti cruise parties, interacted with community members and supported other area queens in Lakeside and Ramona .
“Although we were caught in a pandemic, I felt like my community was really tight-knit,” Webb said. “I would advise future queens to be confident in whatever they do. Even though they can feel uncomfortable at times, being confident is the best thing to do.