“In 2015, one of my friends wanted to do a local beauty
pageant,” Ms. Vega-Miranda said. “She didn’t want to do it
alone, so I did it along with her. I ended up liking it, so I
signed up for another.”
Beauty and the Balancing Act
Last year, she won an award in the Miss Heart of Ohio USA
pageant. She later won the right to represent Ohio in the
Miss North America pageant, winning the national title in
Orlando this past June.
It takes months of preparation to compete in a beauty pageant.
In addition to a rigorous exercise and diet regimen, contestants
must repeatedly practice their interviewing skills, preparing
for the wide range of questions they may need to answer onstage.
Ms. Vega-Miranda was a full-time student, nearly a full-time
employee and involved in one of the most demanding avocations a
young person could pursue. The only way she could handle it all
was through self-discipline and prioritizing — and some help
from her instructors at Tri-C.
“You have to make up your mind that schoolwork comes first,” Ms.
Vega-Miranda said. “Before I enter in a pageant, I talk to the
director and see if there is a way to balance the
responsibilities of the pageant with my schoolwork. If that
isn’t able to happen, I can’t do the pageant.”
She also credits Tri-C faculty for working with her and her
classmates outside of normal class and office hours.
“They want you to learn the material and do well, so they go
above and beyond,” she said. “One of my math professors would
stay after class to help me, or create study groups outside of
class time to work with us if we needed some more help. It was
great to have professors willing to give you that extra
After graduating from Tri-C, Ms. Vega-Miranda will continue her
studies at Cleveland State University, where she aims to
earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Her plan is
to pursue a career in human resources.
“I’ve already had an internship, and I really like the work,”
she said. “I like to work with people, and that’s a skill that’s
good for HR.”
As for beauty pageants, Ms. Vega-Miranda would like to continue
competing, but said she might take a break as she works toward
completing her college education.
“I need to focus on my schoolwork for now,” she said. “Pageants
are fun, but the preparation can get kind of intense and
stressful at times. It’s probably good to take a break for a few
years, finish school and get my career started.”
Photo courtesy of Tri-C.