Annual Miss Dinuba pageant hits the stage

Seven Dinuba High seniors are in the running for the crown, as event opens up Raisin Day festivities for the month

Jon Earnest
Published August 12, 2023  • 
9:00 am

DINUBA – Seven young women are competing for the title of Miss Dinuba in 2023 at the annual pageant next month.

The 108th edition of the annual event will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at Dinuba High School’s Hellbaum Auditorium.

“I think it’s truly remarkable to have such a long-standing program ushering in the annual Raisin Day Festival each year,” said Florence Polanco Wilson, director of the pageant. “The seven young ladies participating are among the best of Dinuba’s younger generation, and I’m sure all in attendance will agree.”

The new Miss Dinuba will be crowned at the end by the 2022 winner, Sydney Vela. First and second runners-up as well as Miss Congeniality also will be awarded.

Tickets to the pageant can be purchased at the door, which opens at 6:30 p.m. Tickets at the door are $10, and advance tickets are available through the Dinuba Chamber of Commerce website at www.dinubachamber.com

For more information, call the chamber at 559-591-2707.

Here are brief biographies on each candidate, as supplied in order pre-arranged by the pageant:

Jaden Godoy

Contestant #1 is Jaden Godoy. She is the 17-year-old daughter of Sal and Brandi Godoy and a senior at Dinuba High School.

Jaden Godoy (Photos courtesy of Miss Dinuba Pageant)

Jaden’s honors include SkillsUSA National Finalist Silver Medal, Student of the Month and Most Valuable Player for Dinuba High varsity tennis.

Jaden has been a member of Dinuba High softball, tennis and Skills USA Team. She has also volunteered with the Special Olympics. Jaden is very musical as she enjoys playing saxophone, banjo and guitar.

Her future plans are to attend the College of the Sequoias (COS) for two years where she plans on playing tennis for the COS Tennis team and getting her associates degree. After completion there, Jaden plans on transferring to Fresno State University and work toward attaining her Masters Degree in Teaching.

Jaden’s platform is titled “Stand Up,” and is about bullying. She wants to encourage everyone to stand up to the bullying that goes on all around us. Jaden said, “ I know an end to the constant bullying happening everyday would elevate everyone in our day to day making all of our lives better.”

Jaden would like to be this year’s Miss Dinuba because she’d love the opportunity to learn more about other members in our community while serving as a role model to its younger generation. Her involvement with numerous activities and programs has aided in her growth and she’d like to see younger students challenge themselves to succeed as well. In addition to this, Jaden sees being crowned Miss Dinuba as a chance to learn more independence and selflessness.

Leslie Moreno

Contestant #2 is Leslie Moreno. She is the 17-year-old daughter of Brenda Ramos and Lazaro Pacheco and is a senior at Dinuba High School.

Leslie Moreno (Photos courtesy of Miss Dinuba Pageant)

Leslie’s honors include Honor Roll for 3.0 and above and Student of the Month.

Leslie’s involvements are varied; they include babysitting and working toward getting her confirmation with St Catherine’s Church. She is also a member of the Dinuba High School Tennis Team and Math Club. Her future plans are to attend Reedley College for two years and transfer to Fresno State University where her goal is to become a physical therapist.

Leslie’s platform is “Loving One like Two” and is on the topic of single parent households. She would like to shed light on the realities of being in a single parent home and share the various resources available for those. 

Leslie said, “If you’re in a single parent household like I was for so long, you’re not alone. Being able to connect with others who may not have a mom or a dad at home can create a community ending any unnecessary isolation. While there are obvious struggles, there are also many joys that are multiplied rather than divided.”

Leslie would like to be Miss Dinuba because she’d like the opportunity to encourage others in a way that only Miss Dinuba can and continue to network in her community to help others.

“I want to show others that you can be a shy girl from a broken family and still be capable of doing anything you set your mind to,” she said. “Believe in yourself is what I always say.”

Kimberly Camacho

Contestant #3 Kimberly Camacho, the 17-year-old daughter of Enrique Luna and Claudia Gonzalez. She is a senior at Dinuba High School.

Kimberly Camacho (Photos courtesy of Miss Dinuba Pageant)

Kimberly has received various academic honors such as winning a Certificate of Achievement from Washington D.C. Close Up Foundation, Bridge Builder medal from Dinuba Board of Trustees, and 1st place in the Spanish speech and debate tournament. She also is involved in several clubs at the high school, including Nami, Ignite, and is President of Speech and Debate Club and of the Civics Club.

Future plans for Kimberly are to attend Fresno State to study law, then work as a family lawyer and continue her grandfather’s legacy helping area families.

Kimberly’s platform is titled “Unspoken Weight.” She chose this platform because she wants to advocate for mental health and bring awareness to the fact that many do suffer in silence with depression and anxiety. She said, “I’d like to tell others who are maybe struggling or suffering that you are not alone. And there are people that can help.”

Kimberly would like to be Miss Dinuba because “I want to give back to the community I’ve grown up loving. I want to be a good role model to the kids that are younger. I want to be there for my community and impact them the way they have for me.”

Catricia Alvarez

Contestant #4 is Catricia Alvarez. She is the 17-year-old daughter of Jose and Cristina Alvarez. Catricia is a senior at Dinuba High School.

Catricia’s academic achievements include a 3.5 grade point average and above throughout high school, Choir President, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes President.

Catricia is involved in various activities at Dinuba High. She is a member of the varsity volleyball team, varsity Cheer, track and field, Madrigals choir, Ignite Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Link Crew, Band ID Letter Team and Drill Team.

Future plans are attending Reedley College for two years and then completing higher education at Fresno State. Catricia’s goal is to become a teacher.

Catricia’s platform is titled “Look Up” and is on the topic of unplugging from our devices and plugging into life. Catricia chose this platform to spread awareness on the negative impact electronic devices are playing in our everyday lives. Catricia believes that there is so much more to life to experience than what our electronic devices are offering and preoccupying us all with if we just take the initiative to Look Up.

Catricia would like to be Miss Dinuba because she would also really love the chance to represent Dinuba with pride and honor. 

She said, “It’d provide a great opportunity to share my platform with my community. If I can convince a handful of people to just put their devices down for a bit and do a real activity, it could be so pivotal for everyone around them. As Miss Dinuba I’d have more opportunities on a bigger scale to share what really can change our community for the better. I want to make a real impact.”

Victoria Garza

Contestant #5 is Victoria Garza. She is the 17-year-old daughter of Efrain and Lisa Garza and a senior at Dinuba High School.

Victoria Garza (Photos courtesy of Miss Dinuba Pageant)

Victoria’s academic achievements include Honor Roll for 3.9 GPA throughout high school, Emperor of the Month Awards, Marching Band Letter and a gold medal for SkillsUSA CTE (career technical education) division.

Victoria is involved in various extracurricular activities including band, key club, Ignite Club, Link Crew, California Scholarship Federation, SkillsUSA. She serves as an officer of several of them as well.

Her future plans are to attend Fresno Pacific or Reedley College to major in liberal arts and minor early child development to become a special education teacher in an elementary school.

Victoria’s platform is titled “Discovering Your Voice” and the topic is self advocating for your education. 

“The reason why I chose this platform is to share my story of how I embraced my learning disabilities to reach my full potential,” she said. “I’d like to be able to assist others to inform them of the resources out there to help with their education and help others who may be struggling, like my parents did for me.”

She would like to be Miss Dinuba because she’s dreamt of this since I was a little girl. In addition to that Victoria said, “I want to be the role model that Miss Dinuba is to the young girls in our community; someone who works hard, does not give up and cares for others. Also, I’d like to carry out the tradition of a young lady representing this great city.”

Isabella Benavides

Contestant #6, Isabella Benavides, is the 17-year-old daughter of Ramon and Erin Montemayor, and Esteban and Arlene Benavides. She is a senior at Dinuba High School.

Isabella Benavides (Photos courtesy of Miss Dinuba Pageant)

Isabella’s academic honors include Principal’s Honor Roll, and an academic letter.

Isabella is involved in various activities at the high school including the Dinuba High Drama Program as the costume manager, Madrigals as the soprano section leader, and is leader of link crew.

Her future plans are to attend COS in Visalia and attain her associates degree. Following her education at COS, she plans to complete her education in musical theater at a four-year college-university.

Isabella’s platform is “Verbal Abuse in Relationships.” She chose this platform because she would like to bring awareness to what verbal abuse is and to help others who are silently dealing with this, know they are not alone and that if someone is at the receiving end of this type of abuse, it’s not okay.

Isabella would like to be Miss Dinuba because “it would give me the opportunity to reach a large audience on my platform and make a difference. Having once been in a situation of a verbally abusive relationship I would have liked to see some resources available, and I hope to be that for people out there. I also would like to see my community from a new perspective and be so much more involved.”

Briana Smith

Contestant #7, Briana Smith, is the 17-year-old daughter of Brian and Alejandra Smith and a senior at Dinuba High School.

Brianna Smith (Photos courtesy of Miss Dinuba Pageant)

Briana’s academic honors include Emperor of the Month and Honor Roll throughout high school.

Briana is involved in many clubs and extracurricular activities at Dinuba High, including student council secretary/treasurer, Madrigals-Alto Section Leader, Ignite Club, Link Crew and Scicon counselor. In addition, she worked backstage on lighting for the “Mama Mia” musical.

Her future plans are to attend Vanguard University and continue being involved in choir. At the moment, she is undecided on her future career but is considering studying to be an elementary teacher.

Briana’s platform is titled “Books Open Doors.” She chose this platform because her love for reading has impacted and benefited her so much and she wants to extend that love for reading to the kids in this community. She wants them to know that “if you can pick up a book, the places you can go are endless.”

Briana would like to be Miss Dinuba because she knows that this position would provide a challenge for her. She wants to grow as a person and push herself out of her comfort zone. “I would like to serve and make a difference in my community.”

Jon Earnest
Reporter