If it were possible to have a dynasty in the world of scholarship pageants, the University of Central Florida should be part of that discussion.
The university is riding a streak of three consecutive Miss Florida titles held by students: currently Kristina Janolo, preceded by Jacqueline Raulerson in 2010 and Rachael Todd in 2009.
And in next week’s 2012 Miss Florida Scholarship Pageant, nine of the 43 contestants are UCF students – so perhaps the streak will extend to four titles.
Janolo, a marketing major from Kissimmee, will turn over the title to her successor at the conclusion of the July 4-7 pageant in St. Petersburg.
The new contestants from UCF have career ambitions that range from providing therapy for brain trauma patients, to becoming a CPA, to performing as a classical pianist.
- Alexa Schmidt of Jacksonville, who holds the title of Miss University of Central Florida and is a senior majoring in psychology. Her platform is to prevent drivers from texting, and her career goal is to provide neurofeedback therapy to patients with neurological deficiencies and brain trauma.
- Dasha González of Orlando, who holds the title of Miss Volusia County and is a senior majoring in health sciences/pre-clinical. Her platform is to encourage healthy habits for kids, and her career goal is to become a doctor of physical therapy and establish a practice serving underprivileged individuals.
- Amanda Harris of Jacksonville, who holds the title of Miss Orlando and is a senior majoring in advertising and public relations. Her platform is to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and her career goal is to become the national director of a dance marathon to benefit the hospitals.
- Jerusha Cavazos of Celebration, who holds the title of Miss South Florida and is a junior majoring in musical theatre. Her platform is to encourage the arts, and her career goal is to obtain a career in entertainment.
- Meagan Cartaya of Homestead, who holds the title of Miss Homestead and is a sophomore majoring in advertising and public relations. Her platform is taking the “dis” out of “disability,” and her career goal is to become a public relations manager for a social media company or nonprofit organization.
- Music Meier of Panama City, who holds the title of Miss Florida Sunshine and is a junior majoring in piano performance. Her platform is to enhance the lives of service veterans, and her career goal is to become a classical pianist.
- Sara York of Orlando, who holds the title of Miss Orange County and is a master’s student in communication. Her platform is combatting bullying by building self-esteem, and her career goal is to become a social responsibility specialist for a major corporation.
- Erin O’Flaherty of Florence, S.C., who holds the title of Miss Pasco County and is a senior majoring in business administration. Her platform is suicide prevention, and her career goal is to become a CPA.
- Lauren Chase of Sarasota, who holds the title of Miss Florida Sunshine and is a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies. Her platform is Dreams Against Drugs and High-Risk Behaviors, and her career goal is to become a recording artist and motivational speaker and to pursue a master’s in nonprofit organization.
Janolo, who is returning to UCF as a senior to complete her degree, said she is looking forward to going back to the classroom.
“I’m excited that the scholarships I’ve won through the Miss America organization will allow me to graduate debt-free,” she said. She won $35,000 for her education while participating in pageants for the past six years. “I look forward to crowning the next Miss Florida – maybe another UCF woman.”
The new Miss Florida will advance to compete for the title of Miss America. Janolo finished in the top 12 of the 2012 Miss America competition in Las Vegas.