2022 Mr. and Miss Hispanic/Latinx OSU winners crowned
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Media Contact: Jordan Bishop | Editor, Department of Brand Management | 405-744-9782 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexander Turner Camacho couldn’t stop smiling, and Valerie Rios discreetly wiped away her tears of joy as they were both crowned 2022 Mr. and Miss Hispanic/Latinx OSU on Saturday.
The scholarship pageant, presented in the Oklahoma State University Student Union Theater and broadcasted live on Inside OSU, celebrated the myriad customs and vibrant heritage of Hispanic/Latinx cultures. Contestants proudly represented traditions spanning across Guatemala, Mexico, Bolivia and more countries throughout Latin America.
After five months of intense practice and preparation, the seven contestants competed in six categories throughout the day: private interview, platform, cultural wear, talent, evening wear and extemporaneous question. Pre-pageant, the contestants were also judged on professionalism.
The participants — four contending for the Miss title and three for the Mr. — competed not only for the crown, but also for a $1,500 scholarship as well as one year to promote and work toward their platforms.
This year’s winners both chose platforms close to their homes and hearts.
Turner Camacho, a freshman aerospace and mechanical engineering major, said his platform originated with his father. When Turner Camacho’s father was 15, he lost his own father — Turner Camacho’s grandfather — in a robbery. His father’s hard work and trials after the loss inspired Turner Camacho to choose providing more higher education opportunities and scholarships for Bolivian students at OSU as his platform.
“He worked extremely hard and was able to bring me to the United States where I am safe and will never have to lose my father,” Turner Camacho said. “When I learned that story as a young boy, it struck my heart. I’m so grateful and inspired to take this platform forward and provide other people with the same opportunities my father provided for me.”
For Rios, a junior psychology pre-law major, her platform is centered around mental health in the Hispanic community. Growing up, her mother, sister and brother all struggled with mental health issues.
“I didn’t know how to help or comprehend what was going on,” she said. “It left me feeling guilty and probably made their journey harder. My goal is [to make sure] nobody feels that way, and I want to spread the available resources and knowledge I wish I had so we can support each other as a community.”
Although only two can reign as Mr. and Miss Hispanic/Latinx OSU, judge Paulina Panduro, the 2013 Miss Hispanic/Latinx OSU, said that every contestant should be proud of themselves and their transformation over the past few months.
“I told a lot of contestants during their interview: remember that your differences are your superpowers,” Panduro said. “Be authentically yourselves. Being here, [finishing] the pageant, already makes you a winner.”
As the pageant came to a close, the reigning Mr. and Miss Hispanic/Latinx — Francisco Hernandez and Yasmin Flores — spoke to the crowd one last time, expressing their gratitude for the past year and excitement for the new Mr. and Miss.
“Tonight my reign is coming to an end but I couldn’t be more grateful for the past year,” Flores said. “... Tonight it is time to pass the crown onto someone new. Every single one of these contestants has put so much time and effort into this program, and I am eager to see how they will continue this legacy at OSU.”
Hernandez echoed the sentiment, listing off the many accomplishments and opportunities the two have had to serve the OSU community the past year. But the sweetest memories, he said, remain training the next generation of Mr. and Miss Hispanic/Latinx OSU leaders.
“The thing I will cherish most is the opportunity that I had to train these contestants that you have seen here today,” Hernandez said. “These people, these contestants, have put in so much work that you have no idea. I have seen so much growth in them and it makes me so proud.”
First runner-up for both of the titles, Kevin Cardona and Iris Borunda, will receive a $500 scholarship. Second runner-up for both of the titles, Jacob Castro and Jazmin Navarro, will receive a $250 scholarship.
Story By: Kylee Sutherland | email@example.com