OCEANSIDE — MiraCosta College student Kelsey Schwarz is the new Miss San Diego.The 20-year-old Valley Center resident earned the title on Jan. 5, securing the right to compete in the Miss California Pageant in June, the last stop before the annual Miss America Pageant.
“It feels amazing and it is such an honor,” Schwarz said.
Schwarz, who is working at two jobs while attending MiraCosta College’s Oceanside Campus, said she got the pageant itch when she met Miss Valley Center who painted Schwarz’s face at a softball game when Schwarz was just 6 years old. Some 11 years later, Schwarz won the title of Miss Valley Center for herself, earning a $3,500 scholarship in the process. Since then, she also won the Miss Teen California World Pageant.
Schwarz works as a student ambassador at MiraCosta College. “Our job is to build a relationship with prospective students in order to make the transition from high school to college as smooth as possible,” she said. “We want to encourage people out in the community to pursue higher education with MiraCosta College.”
Schwarz also works for Royal Entertainers as a Disney princess at children’s parties. She says pageants offer young women a number of benefits, including college scholarships, networking opportunities, and an opportunity to be a mentor and role model for younger children. Contestants must be well-versed in current events while effectively communicating their thoughts.
“You really have to be on top of your intellectual game,” she said. “It’s very easy to look at it as being skin deep and shallow, but that really is not the case.”
Miss San Diego and Miss California fall under the umbrella of the Miss America Pageant organization. The four points of the Miss America crown symbolize scholarship, service, style, and success. In the upcoming Miss California Pageant, 25 percent of a contestant’s score will be based on how well they do on an interview before they take the stage.
Schwarz is a communications major who will be transferring to Cal State San Marcos next fall. She has an associate’s degree in liberal arts and humanities, and she will earn a second AA in communications this spring. Her hope is to earn a master’s degree in education and work as an inspirational speaker while teaching college communications courses.
Schwarz is looking for potential sponsors in her Miss California effort. Those interested can write to firstname.lastname@example.org or donate directly to the Children’s Miracle Network at missamericaforkids.org/donate/Schwarzschwarz.