Jazmín Ávalos has spent almost half her life in the pageant world.
The 22-year-old Ávalos had competed twice in the Miss California Outstanding Teen and at Miss California twice (Miss Anaheim Hills in 2017, Miss Canyon Hills in 2018).
She was 12 when she started competing in pageants.
“I’ve grown up in this organization,” said Ávalos, who recently graduated from Fullerton State and wants to pursue a teaching job. “I like to think that the organization raised me.”
As Miss Anaheim, Ávalos is among 41 hopefuls in this year’s pageant.
The only child raised by a single mother, Ávalos considers that situation a blessing.
“Growing up with a single parent made me mature a lot faster,” said Ávalos. “I learned a lot of independence. I always sat at the adult table, with aunts, uncles, all grownups. I felt more prepared for life and responsibility.”
Being a veteran helps her when it comes to knowing what to pack and what to expect.
“The shock of walking on stage is out of the way,” she said. “All that’s left is the excitement.”
Being a veteran, she said, “doesn’t make it any easier.”
“The drive and passion is still there,” said Ávalos. “I’m just preparing to be the best version of myself.”
Ávalos believes she is a “walking testimony” of how the pageant can shape a young woman.
Ávalos praises the friendships one develops through the year. Many of her pageant friends have attended her birthday celebrations. “Those relationships are so important,” she said.
She sang ‘Astonishing’ from the musical ‘Wicked’ for her talent on Wednesday evening for her talent.
“When I sing the lyrics, I feel like I’m telling a lot of my story through the words, my background, my journey getting into Miss California,” said Ávalos. “It’s a good reflection of who I am.”
Her social impact initiative is ending substance abuse. She knows about the problem from personal experience because her father was addicted to drugs.
“I’ve shared my story with youth, that they need to focus on long-term goals to break that cycle of addiction,” said Ávalos. “I just don’t see myself advocating for something else.”
Meet Miss Anaheim Jazmín Ávalos
Born: Garden Grove
Education: Bachelor degree in English, minor in Chicano Studies from Fullerton State
Family: Mother Guadalupe Campos
Talent: Vocal, ‘Astonishing’
Social impact initiative: Ending substance abuse
Interesting facts: Jumped from an airplane at 13,000 feet; first in family to attend and graduate from college; works at Disneyland.
Pageant schedule: Wednesday talent; Thursday onstage interview and evening wear.