After being crowned Miss Pre-Teen Northeast Galaxy/Pre-Teen CT Belleza Latina, 10-year-old Yadira Hinojoza of New Britain will represent her home state at the Junior Miss Galaxy International Pageant in Orlando, Fla. Aug. 10-13.
Yadira topped about 25 other girls at the state pageant. At the international pageant, competition will be even steeper, with anywhere from 50 to 70 girls typically competing, said Marizol Gore, state and regional director of CT Belleza Latina/Northeast Galaxy.
The Northeast Galaxy and CT Miss Belleza Latina pageants are organized by Northeast Beauty Productions, which operates in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Competitors in the pre-teen division must be 9 to 11 years old, and the compete in photogenic, private interview, fashion and evening gown.
According to her mother, Maria Torres, Yadira took an interest in pageants after starting as a cheerleader.
Leading up to the state pageant, Yadira supplemented her experience in cheerleading with modeling classes and a pageant-ready wardrobe for each of the competition’s phases.
Yadira has participated in a number of community service events since her victory in the state pageant, including appearances in the Puerto Rican Day Parade and Festival Del Coqui and New Britain’s Memorial Day parade.
Founded in 2005, the Connecticut branch of Miss Belleza Latina was established to celebrate Latina culture and beauty while serving as a formal preliminary to the organization’s international pageant, which gets a competitor from Connecticut each year.
CT Belleza Latina also promotes values such as education, personal growth, family, and community service.
“Everyone gains something completely different,” Gore said. “What I like to see is for (contestants) to gain self-confidence,” adding that the organization treats community service as not only a requirement, but a way to…
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