Most people don’t kick off their freshman year at PUC by becoming a beauty queen. And Amanda Betat, now a sophomore, was pretty sure she didn’t want to. But when she won the regional pageant, became Miss Lake County 2008, and went on to the Miss California pageant, she learned that there was more to it than hairspray, false eyelashes, and swimsuit glue.
For one thing, she earned scholarships from the pageants. In addition, she began to put her platform into action. She chose “Encouraging Self-Confidence and Community Service in Youth” because of her own experience with the pageant. “The two things that I believe the Miss America Organization represent best are the goals of shaping girls into confident, driven, and successful women, and providing community service as a way of shaping the world around them.”
Working to communicate those values in her community meant that Amanda had an incredibly busy year. She worked with Kids Connection, Girl Scouts, and the Boys and Girls Club — volunteering her time to talk about her platform, give workshops, and get to know the kids one-on-one. She has also promoted her platform at schools, rotary clubs, other local pageants and various fundraisers.
“Sometimes it was hard having a term paper due and being scheduled for an appearance,” she admits, “but I learned to multi-task, things like painting my nails and doing my hair while researching biology, and hauling my textbooks with me to an event.” At PUC she also found ways to be involved by helping with Children’s Church and the KidsReach ministry.
Despite the negative stereotypes that almost kept her from the experience, Amanda is now grateful for the chance to wear a crown. “I've made many friends, gotten to know my community, earned money towards college, and learned a lot about myself.”
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