Monday, June 18 , 2018, 3:07 pm | Fair 69º


Local News

Santa Barbara’s Junior Miss Contestants Compete for Scholarships

Haley Araki and Addison Clark of Dos Pueblos High and Providence Hall's Rebecca Schasberger advance to the state competition

The Santa Barbara’s Junior Miss scholarship organization, a local chapter of the national America Junior Miss, awarded $12,400 in scholarship money on Sunday.

The competition was held at the Valle Verde retirement center in Santa Barbara, which donated the center’s theater space to the scholarship program, enabling it to award substantially more in scholarship funds to the participants.

Haley Araki, Addison Clark, juniors at Dos Pueblos High School, and Rebecca Schasberger of Providence Hall High School were the three high school juniors who advanced to the California’s Junior Miss scholarship competition, to be held the first week in August in Bakersfield.

The participants attended several rehearsals in March and April, and with the help of last year’s Junior Miss winners — Amber Rockwood, Montana Marshall and Thia Laurain — the students honed their skills in interview techniques, poise and carriage, extemporaneous speaking and talent. The coaching was furthered by special guests Maritza Mejia, outreach manager of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara; Betty Hatch, founder of La Belle Model & Talent Agency; and college coach Andrea Rifkin.

The high school juniors are encouraged to reach outside their comfort zones and are judged in five categories: scholastics, fitness, self-expression (an “on stage” question), talent and interview. There were category winners in each of the categories, with each winner receiving a $350 award. The three overall winners were awarded $1,000 each — in addition to any category awards they received.

There were many memorable talent performances, including one by Hannah Bangs who, at the last moment, played the piano and sang a song she wrote (instead of hula hooping), and one by basketball star Ali Breuer, who recited a tender essay she had written about a broken heart.

Shasberger, winner of the interview, self-expression, fitness and talent category, strummed, tapped and played her cello. Alix de Gramont performed a moving, theatrical piece about the color “white,” and self-taught piano player Gaby Wildfeuer played the piano.

Megan Tench and Molly Marshall were winners in the rigorous fitness category. “Be Your Best Self” essay winner Corrine Ruth was an interview and self-expression winner, as well as a scholastics winner with Connie Pfung. Runner-up Juhi Khemani performed an Indian Bollywood dance, and received a scholastic, interview and self-expression award. Araki, talent and fitness winner, performed a lyrical dance to Joy Williams’ “Every Moment.” Clark, scholastic, talent, self-expression and interview winner, performed an a cappella version of “Think of Me” from The Phantom of the Opera.

Earlier in the month, several Junior Misses, including second runner-up Page Brenner, shared their talents at the downtown Girls Inc. site, as part of community outreach to introduce younger girls to the “Be Your Best Self” mission statement of the America Junior Miss program. Brenner, who performed her award-winning karate routine, also received an award for interview.

While the judges deliberated, 2011 Spirit of Fiesta and Santa Barbara Junior Miss 2007 Erika Martin del Campo danced flamenco. Has Beens, Sarah Shasberger, Jillian McIntyre and Chelsea Chaves — all talent winners in previous years — also performed. Buddy Winston, former joke writer for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno shared the emcee spotlight with last year’s winners.

In addition, Everybody Dance Now!’s performance troupe, founded by Santa Barbara’s Junior Miss 2008 Jackie Rotman, when she was 14, performed for the sold-out audience.

The Santa Barbara show will be televised on Channel 21 next month.

The 53rd annual America’s Junior Miss National Finals will be June 26-28 in Mobile, Ala.

— Kate Rotman is co-chair of the Santa Barbara’s Junior Miss scholarship committee.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >