As Miss California Latina and Miss Teen California Latina State Director, Jennifer Rodriquez has the awesome responsibility of dealing with hundreds of Latinas across California seeking the opportunity of a lifetime.
Since 2008, Rodriguez has been using her impressive skills and establishing the Miss California Latina brand as one of prestige, which stands for beauty, intelligence, growth, development, opportunity, and community service. Along with her dedication and passion, she developed the program into the largest pageant competition for Latinas in California.
The city of Los Angeles recognized Rodriguez with an award for her success in the community and has been nominated 3 times for the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Latino Business Award.
Rodriguez is also one of 22 women in the country selected into the National Hispana Leadership Institute, an organization that provides executive leadership programs for Latinas in the U.S. As a 2013 fellow she completed NHLI executive leadership course at Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Also known as “The Bad Girls of Sports”, Rodriguez is the co-creator and co-host of “On The Inside Sports" a pod cast sports show, which is the first ever female duo to cover the world of sports.
Splash Magazines asked Rodriguez a few questions about her success as director of the Miss California Latina Organization , the number one pageant for Latinas in California.
Splash Magazines: What makes Miss California Latina different from other pageants?
Jennifer Rodriguez: Aside from the obvious, that it is Latina driven, it focuses heavily on community service. We look to give back, not only to our Latino communities, but the communities overall in the state of California. The program is more than just being about a pretty face. The Miss Latina US national slogan is, “More than a model, a role model,” and that is what we strive for. We want to empower young women that other women can identify with. I also think what makes Miss California Latina different is the attention we put towards our contestants. We work to expose them to the best in terms of quality of production and experience. This is not a competition driven just by beauty. It’s about the individuals experience, about growth and challenges that will contribute to their personal development and prepare them for tomorrow. We provide a platform for every delegate to express who she is, the goals she wants to obtain and goals she has accomplish. These are some of the elements that, makes us different.
SM: What are the benefits of competing in a pageant like Miss California Latina?
JR: The benefits of competing in a pageant like Miss California Latina, is self-development. I think the skills that you gain from preparing for competition are invaluable. Pageant competition is an excellent tool to learn about discipline, dedication and commitment to yourself. It is a great way to expand your personal growth, and really learn about yourself in the process. That being said, it is extremely important to research any and all pageant competitions before entering them. We work to bring our delegates the highest quality of service, leadership and training, a high class and luxurious event and experience.
SM: What are some of the things Miss California Latina has done to help the community?
JR: We have worked with Habitat for Humanity, which is a program that prepares homes for people in need. We will be working with Habitat for Humanity again this year. We’ve worked with them for the past two years in Northern California we will be doing Northern California once again as well as Los Angeles and possibly San Diego. We have worked with Safe Passage, which is an organization that helps women that are victims of domestic violence. We have been involved with Padres Contra El Cancer, as well as Para Los Ninos. There are a variety of different community organizations and levels in which we are involved in.
SM: What were some of the highlights for Miss California Latina for you in 2012?
JR: Well, 2012 was defiantly a great year filled with many highlights, it kicked off with our Teen Queen, Jasmine Huerta performing the national anthem in front of 19,000 people at the Golden State Warriors Game. We then had Ana Valencia, placing California 3rd at the Miss Latina US pageant. Our year ended great with some great media exposure. We did a series of media rounds, which was so much fun. We made appearances on "Accesso Total" on Telemundo, on "A Todo Color" on TV Azteca as well as their evening news. It was awesome to be on the set of Clevver Teve with host Vivian Fabiola who is Miss California Latina 2010-2011. And of course the coverage Univision's Premier Impacto did on us was a great highlight. Thanks to Jomari Goyso who also hosted our competition show, he did a great segment on us. It was light, it was so funny, seriously only Jomari could take it there, The fact that we were on a national program like that was huge for us. Much of the work that I do just out of love, more than anything, because I see a real need for this organization. So to meet those kind of milestones is a great feeling.
SM: Were there any special sponsors this past year?
JR: Yes there were! We have, Michael Jordan's Jordan Brand on board, which was phenomenal. Thank you Reggie Sanders for making that happen. The impact of having Jordan Brand as a sponsor was certainly felt. We have Galpin Motor who have been extraordinary with us, thanks to Tony Demaio. We have Arbonne Cosmetics, Carolina Acosta, which was also a big deal, as she is another great Latina supporter filled with so much passion and drive to provided our young women with opportunities of empowerment. We have Sheik Shoes that have been with us since practically day one, and our great supporters Organic Root Stimulator which are so extraordinary and help make us look and feel beautiful.
SM: What should we look forward to in 2013 for Miss California Latina?
JR: We had a milestone year and you can look for us to top our best. Our show in 2012 was a wonderful production choreographed by Chanel Williams and featured some great performers such as Lee England Jr. and Desiree Estrada. You can expect more community involvement from us as well as some special events throughout the states supported by our gracious sponsors, so make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for those upcoming announcements. Our competition show is set to be held Sunday, December 1st. We will see what surprises come along the way because I feel there are going to be some.
SM: What do you think the future holds for Latinas?
JR: We have an amazing future ahead of us. There are so many beautiful aspects about Latinas that go beyond our rich culture and great looks. Latinas are creators, contributors leaders, educators who live with passion and drive. We continue to grow and we must equip our selves and those who are come after us with tools to achieve greatness so that we can continue to grow, and gow in success. I consider us to be a driving and thriving force in this country. Sonya Sotomayor was the first Latino— and only the fourth woman — to swear in a president or a vice president.with that being said, it's a great time to be a Latina! I think there are a lot of great things in store for us. Miss California Latina is all about celebrating all of those moments, from Sonya Sotomayor to the young women that compete in pageants. It’s a celebration of all women and we deserve it!
SM: Is there anybody you'd like to thank in regards to the Miss California Latina Pageant 2012-2013?
JR: To all of our sponsors and supporters, thank you for your kind and generous contributions and taking part in this event
Christian Pelayo - Crown Diva
Community Street Jam, Redwood City, CA
Cristian Mejia - Clicks of Life Photography
Eddson Ferman - DMS Entertainment Services
Elizabeth Garcia - MyCoachLiz.com
Emile Medellin - Emmy Make-up Pro Academy
Hugo Benson - Hugo Benson Photography
Judith Cassis - Lee Cardena Media
Lee Cardena - Lee Cardena Media
Pavali Modeling Academy
Pily Q Barcelona
Rolling Stones LA
The Original Beauty Blender
Wholesale Fashion Square
Zeke Torres Films
JR: A very special thank you to the 2012 title holders and contestants and Miss and Teen Judges and the following people who all have so graciously given their time and efforts in support to making this organization a success.
Jennifer Bisono Molina
Nelson Rodriguez Sr.
Visit www.MissCaliforniaLatina.com to apply for the Miss California Latina Experience
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