The 17-year-old Miss Diez y Seis will compete at the end of this month for the title of Miss Texas Outstanding Teen.
It’s a bit complicated how the system works as the Diez y Seis pageant is not part of the Miss Texas Pageant. But by winning it, she was eligible to compete in the statewide contest.
Pageantry of the
“I have been competing in pageants since I was six years old,” she said. In fact, along with her local crown, she also holds the title of Miss Harris County Teen in the Cinderella Pageant.
“It is like the Miss Texas Pageant but less glitzy,” she said.
For some people, it is easy to get caught up the pure competition and lose sight of the future.
Not Angelika. She has her goals firmly in place. Pageants are a means to an end.
“I do it for the scholarship money,” she said.
“From Fiesta Bee County, I have almost $5,000 from all my years of competing.
“Western Week also gives scholarship money for runners-up.”
Angelika, who is a senior this upcoming year at A.C. Jones High School, wants to go to University of Texas in San Antonio for a couple of years and then transfer to Austin to get a dental degree.
Now, Angelika is talented and knows the ropes of a competition. But, she is still at a disadvantage in comparison.
“There are about 50 girls competing in the teen division, and each one of them lives in a bigger community where they have dance coaches and competition coaches,” she said.
She is not intimidated though and, even if she were, she has no choice—this is her last year to enter this age category of the competition.
“This is my last year in the teen division,” Angelika said.
“It is tougher in the miss division. It is extremely hard as a teen, but to go into a miss division, it is more difficult.”
So to win the teen division, she will have to practice, and every moment counts.
“Right now, I am practicing my talent and my interview,” she said.
Her talent stems from the years dancing ballet folklorico.
“We went to our dance instructors in Houston, and they helped me make up a new dance,” she said. “It had to be modern, fun and flirty.”
Competition will be a grueling 10 days.
But the worst part—she can only see her friends and family for 30 minutes a day and cannot use her cellphone.
“My mom got me a bracelet charm shaped like a phone because I cannot live without my phone,” she joked.
No pageant-zilla here
There is more to Angelika than pageants. She is a varsity cheerleader, varsity soccer player and member of the Jones High FFA, Student Council and Business Professionals of America.
She was the only Beeville girl, and one of 170 youths, to go to Washington, D.C., as part of the TRIO program at Coastal Bend College.
Plea for votes
Angelika, the daughter of Maria (Geno) and Augstin Benavidez, is making a plea to the community.
She hopes to have enough votes from the area to put her automatically in the top 15 in order to ensure a shot at winning.
Now, there is a charge to vote—$1—but that money goes to Children’s Miracle Network.
Voting can be done online at Misstexas.org or by stopping by Business Express—her family’s business on U.S. Highway 59.
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.