Six college-age women from West Chicago, Addison, Warrenville and Oswego will compete Friday, Sept. 8, in the Miss Mexican Heritage Scholarship Program sponsored by the Mexican Cultural Center of DuPage.
The educational scholarship program, now in its fifth year, is designed to encourage young Mexican-American women to promote pride in their heritage, further their education and prepare to become community leaders.
Through workshops in public speaking, public service, research writing, dance and the culture and regions of Mexico, the participants will compete for college scholarships at the Miss Mexican Heritage program.
Based upon their written essays, oral presentations, interviews and cultural representations, the judges will select first-, second- and third-place winners to represent their community in public service in the coming year. The top finisher will receive a $1,000 scholarship, with a $750 scholarship going to the second-place finisher and a $500 scholarship to the third-place finisher.
Judges for the competition include educational leaders from College of DuPage, West Chicago Elementary District 33, West Chicago High School District 94 and a retired administrator from Chicago State University.
The program also will feature cultural performances and folkloric dances from various regions of Mexico.
The program, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. at Wheaton Academy, 900 Prince Crossing Road, West Chicago. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and students with school ID.
Here's a quick look at the competitors:
• Joanne Andrade of Oswego, representing Zacatecas, is a sophomore at College of DuPage who wants to be a pediatric nurse.
• Leslie Soto of West Chicago, representing Michoacán, is a College of DuPage student who wants to be a nurse or social worker.
• Bianca Reyes of Addison, representing Jalisco, is a sophomore at Western Illinois University studying International Relations and Spanish with a minor in Criminal Justice.
• Maritza Cuautle of Warrenville, representing Queretaro, attends College of DuPage and is majoring in International Business.
• Karen Amaro of West Chicago, representing Estado de México, is planning to become a phlebotomist.
• Vanessa Delgado of West Chicago, representing Guanajuato, attends Lewis University and wants to become a doctor.