Why Hard Work Is Part Of The Latino Story In The United States - According to Yesenia Vidales

She competed in her first beauty contest at 18. The beautiful Yesenia Vidales will represent the state of Arizona at Miss US Latina 2017 in two weeks. She would like to use the title to make a bigger impact on the Latino community in the United States - "As Miss Arizona Latina I was able to represent my culture and be a voice for my Latinos here in my state, and I am thankful beyond words" she explained.

There are many reasons why Yesenia is proud to be a latina but if she has to choose one she will say their work ethic.

Latinos think that hard work can get you what you want. According to a release from the Pew Hispanic Center, 75% of U.S. Hispanics say that most people can get ahead if they are willing to work hard. To anyone with even a casual understanding of the Latino experience and population in this country, this should not come as a great surprise. The same release points out that 55% of Latino immigrants say they came to this country primarily for economic reasons; logic suggests that people with this motivation are going to embrace the effort required to improve their economic situation. This understanding fits with how many Americans see Latinos and how the Latino narrative is often represented in media; hard work is part of the Latino story. "My parents taught me to work extremely hard to reach my dreams. That is something I am very thankful," Yesenia Vida said.

I had the opportunity to interview the beautiful Yesenia. Lets know a little more about her below!

You won the title of Miss Arizona Latina. What does it entail ?

Winning the title of Miss Arizona Latina entails a lot for me. It was a life changer. I was able to finally take a big step in the direction I want to be headed to. As many pageant supporters know, pageantry has the power to open doors for pageant girls. Not only that, but it entails responsibility and being a good role model. Being the face of Latinas in Arizona gives me the job of not only speaking about being a leader, but actually doing just that. As they say, “speak with your actions, not just with your words.”

What does it feel like to be a beauty queen and wear a crown ?

The feeling of being a beauty queen and being able to wear a crown really is the feeling of being a role model and having a voice with more impact than one normally would have. Being a beauty queen gives one a sense of accomplishment. The crown is the visual representation of what the actual title represents and also what the title holder represents throughout her reign. 

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What would you advise any young girl out there who has a dream of being a queen one day ?

I think it is really important to understand that being a queen is not just about being wearing a crown and posing for pictures. One has to be able to offer more than a pretty face. If a young girl wants to be a beauty queen one day, she needs to do it for the right reasons (not just for the pretty crown) because it is hard work and it requires a lot patience and persistence. Remain humble and be kind with everyone regardless of how they treat you. Always be thankful and make the most out of every moment.

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Did you face any moment of disappointment with yourself during the pageant journey, and how did you overcome it?

Yes! In my first pageant, I didn’t even place in the top15. I didn’t make the cut. I was devastated and heartbroken. I wondered for so long why I didn’t place and what was it that I needed to fix. Now I realize that at the time I was not ready for such responsibility and I really did need a lot of improvement. Looking back, I’m happy that I didn’t place or win because if it wasn’t for that failure, I would not have won my current title. I think it is important for anyone in any kind of competition to truly know what it is like to fail and get back up. It helps keep one humble and helps one realize what we need to fix so we can then be successful in our next competition.

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

Many people have inspired me to start a journey is pageants but the number one person that inspired me is my dad! When I was a young girl my family would watch the national and international beauty pageants on television and he would always tell me that I should compete in pageants but I was such a tomboy and I would say “ No, that’s for girly girls!” haha! Even though I would say no, I secretly loved the idea of competing in pageants. After a while I finally signed up for my first pageant and I fell in love with the pageant world. I was right where I needed to be. 

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 Who’s your favorite beauty queen? 

I have two favorite queens! Miss USA 2014 Nia Sanchez and Miss Universe 2006 Zuleyka Rivera. I love Nia because she is so humble! She gives off a warm vibe that I think every queen should have. She is also the first queen that I watched live and followed when I first entered the pageant world.

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Zuleyka Rivera is also my favorite because she is an example of how pageants can open doors to other dreams. Zuleyka used her success in pageantry to step into the entertainment industry and she has been very successful in it.