Beauty Queen Helena Sanchez Coloma wants to raise awareness about The Extreme Effects of Social Media on Teenagers

The internet can be a wonderful place — information and the world at your fingertips. It has also become an enormous part of our social lives, with many interacting with friends, family, and acquaintances across various social media platforms. But social media can also be a dangerous place, especially for teenagers. From a statistic from the Cyberbullying Research Center, about 50% of young people have experienced cyberbullying, and 10%-20% still receive hurtful comments on their profiles. 

The reigning Miss Teen California United Scholar Helena Sanchez Coloma created a platform "Social Media Safety" to raise awareness about the extreme effects of social media on teenagers.

Helena currently goes to Central Catholic High School, a private school in Modesto. "Everything I am doing now is to reach my goal of becoming a military medical doctor. " she explained. On top of her responsibilities as a student and as Miss Teen California United Scholar, she genuinely enjoys helping people. She has completed over 170 hours of community service since my freshmen year. 

Her most recent community service project was working with Habitat for Humanity and Kaiser Permanente to head and organize her whole entire junior class (75 students) to volunteer at a Habitat for Humanity workday. 

It has been her purpose to use her title and use social media in a positive way, to provide a platform in which she can be an example of a relatable role model. Read on and discover her story below!

You won the title of Miss Teen California U.S. 2017. What does it feel like to be a beauty queen and wear a crown?

It is an exhilarating feeling and an unforgettable experience to be a beauty queen and wear a crown. I will remember this for the rest of my life. It makes me feel confident, acknowledged, and accomplished. I truly feel like a princess, or at least close to feeling like a princess. I also feel empowered because my title has given me the confidence and recognition to be heard and make a difference when I do community service.  

You competed at the Miss California USA Pageant. What was your most memorable moment from the contest ?

My most memorable moment from the Miss California USA competition was meeting all the beautiful, charming, and accomplished young women across California.  

I made so many friends from the pageant back in December.  I still talk to many of them even today. During the competition, girls would reassure me when I was nervous, and we would all help each other.  For instance, one girl noticed a strap hanging from my dress right before I went onstage and quickly tucked it in for me.   I would like to commemorate the Miss California USA organization for taking good care of me throughout the course of the competition.

What qualities a woman should have to represent a whole nation?

The qualities of a woman representing a whole nation should be inspiring, open-minded, and able to handle herself with grace.  A woman should wear the crown with the purpose of helping the whole nation.  She should be well rounded and represent the positive ideals of the nation.

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What is your typical day as a pageant queen?

My typical day as a pageant queen starts with checking my social media so I can respond to people’s questions in a timely manner.  I also check to see if there is anything I can participate in to reflect how the crown serves the purpose of helping the community.  I also read and update myself with the local, state and national headlines.  When I do something that helps the community, I post it to inspire others so they too can make a difference.  I also go to social media to check on updates on the latest pageant news in order to stay in tuned and be a good role model.

What inspired you to walk on the course of beauty pageants?

I joined beauty pageants to develop confidence and join the sisterhood of being a pageant queen.  Beauty pageants give me the voice I need to bring attention to the importance of community service and my platform of “Social Media Safety”.  My newfound confidence has allowed me to become a better public speaker and to make a difference in my community service roles.

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Social media seem to play a major role in pageantry nowadays. Do you think this is advantageous to you? Why or why not?

Social media plays a major role in pageantry because it connects us to people of all ages and backgrounds around the world.  This is advantageous to me because my platform is “Social Media Safety”.  I have various social media accounts, where I post about how to be safe online.  I also use my personal social media accounts to show how I serve the crown with a purpose by striving to make a difference in the community with my volunteer work.  My postings reflect the essence of pageantry and show how we have a sisterhood.

Your favorite beauty queen ?

Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2015, is my favorite beauty queen and my inspiration.  After I watched the Miss Universe pageant, I admired how she said she had entered the pageant four times until she won, and how she handled herself with grace and class after the incident at the 2015 Miss Universe pageant.  She turned a negative situation into a positive and made herself be the most popular beauty queen of our generation.  

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Helena's final word

I would like to express my gratitude to the people who have helped me achieve my dreams.  I would like to thank the Miss United Scholar organization for being so welcoming and generous.  I want to thank my parents for their love and constant support.  I never would have been able to do this without them, and I want to especially thank my mom for the late nights of packing and pageant paperwork.  I am proud to be the city of Tracy’s first Miss Teen California and honored to wear the crown with a purpose as a state titleholder.

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