Is this really a “Study in Pink”? Well I think so. I spoke with this young lady because of her intention of becoming a pediatrician, but was also interested by the stage she is on right now. The Miss America pageant system is going through a transformation. The “beauty” pageant is going away, and there will be more focus on the WHO these ladies are and less on HOW they look. What will that truly look like in the future? Not sure, but today, I know it looks like the accomplished young lady I spoke with a few weeks ago……
I met Sophia Medina when she wasn’t royalty. Her family lives in Hanford, and are founders of the Kings Cultural Center in Armona. She started dancing at age 4, and now spends time promoting the cultural center and the benefit it brings to the community. That is where I met her, and came to know so much more about this talented and focused young woman.
She just graduated from UC Santa Cruz, and is studying for the MCAT. Yes….that is to get into medical school! While dance is a passion for her, so is science. “I am a nerd like that,” she told me. After taking the MCAT Sophia will be attending medical school with the intention of becoming a pediatrician. “I love science,” she said, “Anatomy is awesome!” She is not only inspired by science but also her father, who is a doctor, and the time she spends at KCC. Teaching dance to kids at the cultural center showed her how much she enjoyed working with children. So why not combine her passions? She is excited about becoming a pediatrician, “you have to communicate with parents and kids,” she told me. And communication has been something she is working on lately.
When the idea of running for Miss Outstanding teen in 2012 was presented to her, she wasn’t sure at first. “I am not the most girlie girl,” she said, but when the event was framed as a scholarship opportunity she felt that she wanted to give it a try. She was also motivated by the opportunity to “break out of my shell.”
She described herself as “not the most outgoing,” and she had growing sense that she “felt necessary to speak my mind.” In running for Miss Outstanding teen and then for Miss Kings County, she told me that it has “helped with my style and presenting myself.” One of the most exciting aspects for her is the platform that each contestant seeks to promote during their reign. “Getting to share about Cultural Appreciation is something I am passionate about.” For Sophia, Cultural Appreciation is not just a platform, but is something that has been passed down from her parents. “My parents are super supportive in anything we do,” she said.
So what are her hopes for the outcome of the pageant? “Just enjoy the experience, and connect with the other girls.” I of course am hoping to be speaking to the next Miss California, but she has a much more grounded answer. “With 75% of the girls being returnees,” she said, “I would be happy to break the top 15.”
No matter where she winds up in the standings, it does not matter, she is already inspiring and encouraging in so many ways. So good luck and many blessings to her this weekend in the Miss California pageant. And may that luck and blessing continue as you bring beauty, healing and grace into your community.
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