Palomarez named state’s first Miss Mississippi Latina

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Eighteen-year-old Ashley Palomarez is proud of her heritage. Andshe’ll get a chance to share it this year as she wears the crown ofMiss Mississippi Latina.

Palomarez, a 2005 graduate of West Lincoln Attendance Center,qualified in May for the crown and title in the state’s firstcontest of its type. Other states have been sending Latinacontestants to the national pageant for years, but this is amilestone for Mississippi.

Palomarez qualified because both her father and grandparents areof Latin descent.

“It’s really a big honor to be able to represent Mississippi atthis pageant,” said Palomarez. “It’s a great title to have. I feelhonored.”

Because this is the state’s first Latina pageant, contestantsmerely had to submit the necessary paperwork prior to thequalifying deadline. Palomarez beat two other girls in qualifying.There was no actual pageant.

In representing Mississippi, Palomarez will travel to Cancun,Mexico, in October to compete in the seven- to eight-day-longevent. She will have to compete in swimsuit, interview and eveninggown divisions. Other fun events, such as dinners, pressconferences and fashion shows, will take place during the week.

“I’m really excited about it,” she said, “especially the fashionshow.”

Palomarez’ mother, Brookhaven Police Officer Sudie Palomarez,said hopefully the two can help host an actual statewide pageantnext year to crown Ashley’s successor. Unfortunately, she won’teven get to attend her daughter’s competition because she will beaway doing duty in Afghanistan.

“Hopefully I’ll catch it on TV,” Ms. Palomarez said.

Right now, Ashley Palomarez is in the process of securingsponsors, who will help defray the cost of airfare, competitionwardrobe, hotel fees, meals and other expenses associated with thepageant. She said her time of wearing the state crown will bememorable.

Palomarez plans to attend Copiah-Lincoln Community College tomajor in cosmetology. Afterwards, she hopes to attend a makeupartist school in Los Angeles, Calif.