By Hazael Calleros
Emily Irene, a model who was born in Victorville and raised in Rancho Cucamonga, has been part of the pageantry industry since the age of five where she mainly participated in community pageants. Pursuing her dream to win a national title, she moved to Nevada. After 18 years of pageantry participation, she was recently crowned Miss Grand United States.
Despite her success, she remains in touch with communities and will represent the United States in Venezuela this October as she competes for the title of Miss Grand International were she hopes to promote ending war and violence.
On August 21st, she visited the Miss Cardinal contestants who are vying to win the honor of representing San Bernardino High School in our community. Irene urged the contestants to “stay confident.” She also shared how she was labeled as “different” in school and bullied to the point that she wanted to commit suicide. This experience led her to join the Dove Self-Esteem project, a project that teaches people how to be confident with themselves.
Irene also encouraged the girls to embrace this opportunity and realize that it is important for them to continue to care for others and to always lend that helping hand. As for the future winners, she urged to be a positive influence, and be a voice to those who don’t have one.
She ended with a brief statement that the Miss Cardinal Pageant is unlike other pageants because of the family-like environment and the amazing qualities they learn and will use for the rest of their lives. After her presentation she interacted with some of the contestants and answered some questions before taking a group picture.