By Emily Sorensen
Poway has two new queens, with the crowning of 2013’s Miss Poway and Miss Teen Poway.
Jackie Foster was crowned Miss Poway, and Kelly Cota was crowned Miss Teen Poway at the 51st Miss Poway Scholarship Pageant, held Saturday, April 27 at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts.
The two newly crowned queens will take over the duties of last year’s Miss Poway, Pilar Altman, and Miss Teen Poway, Natalie Smith. Both girls were on hand Saturday night to assist with the awards and say a final goodbye after a year of representing Poway at everything from City Council meetings to the parade and other holiday events.
This year, 34 girls from Poway and the surrounding areas vied for the two crowns, with 20 girls ages 13 to 16 competing for Miss Teen Poway, and 14 girls ages 17 to 24 competing for Miss Poway.
Foster and Cota were joined by their court. Miss Poway’s princesses are Stacy Luu, Ashley Matz and Kayla Hoppe, and the Miss Teen Poway princesses are Alondra Colon, Esther Ryu and Lily Howe.
Foster, the new Miss Poway, is a 17-year-old junior at Poway High School, who, when she’s not out volunteering to better her community, spends much of her time singing. “Singing is my life,” said Foster, who first became interested in competing in the pageant after singing for the pageant finale three years ago. Foster is also involved in musical theater, both at her school and with outside theater groups.
Much of Foster’s volunteer work also involves singing, including performing for the American Cancer Society. Foster has also volunteered to build churches and homes.
Foster plans to do either a double major or a major and a minor in music and communications in college. Her top three schools right now are UCLA, USC and Berklee College of Music. She has been accepted into a five-week music program at Berklee this summer.
Her motto is “Keep your feet on the ground, but keep reaching for the stars,” a quote by Casey Kasem she learned from her uncle.
Cota, a 15-year-old sophomore from Mt. Carmel High School, is a member of the Mt. Carmel dance troupe, where she performs lyrical, jazz and ballet.
Cota is also heavily involved in volunteer work, especially with the Baja Animal Sanctuary, where she helps with setting up and taking down events and answering questions. Cota and her family also foster dogs from the sanctuary.
Cota, competing in the Miss Poway Scholarship Pageant for the first time, said she wanted to participate to give back to her community. “I wanted to be a part of something larger than myself,” said Cota. “I’ve lived here in Poway so long, I wanted to give back.” Cota was also chosen as Miss Teen Poway Fan Favorite at the pageant.
Cota said she hopes to attend the University of Miami for their meteorology program. Her motto is “the best way to predict the future is to create it,” by Abraham Lincoln.
Foster and Cota will also receive scholarship money, thanks to the Lions Club of Poway.