The summer has flown by for Dianna Mendoza, who spent a week in Washington D.C. visiting with family and seeing her older brother, Danny, receive the Congressional Youth Leadership Award in June.
Closer to home, she has been preparing for the 2005-06 Miss Sunnyside Pageant to be held in September.
Which activity has been the most exciting? Mendoza is hard pressed to say.
"It was a thrill to see Danny honored for all his efforts," she admitted. "I'm very proud of him."
Her brother, a 2005 Sunnyside High School graduate, has been a long-time proponent of the youth skate park which is finally being scheduled for construction at SunnyView Park in the coming year.
But personally, Mendoza is also excited about the possibility of being named the next Miss Sunnyside. She is one of six Sunnyside girls seeking the title of 2005-06 Miss Sunnyside. She will be competing for the crown and scholarships during the Miss Sunnyside Pageant to be held Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Sunnyside High School auditorium. The pageant is a part of the annual Sunnyside Sunshine Days celebration set for Sept. 16, 17 and 18.
While preparing to be a junior at Sunnyside High School this year, the petite young lady has found time to be a coach at the local high school drama department's annual drama camp for kids. For a week, Mendoza helped coach children in dance, acting and singing in preparation for a production held at the end of the camp.
"It was a lot of fun," she said. "I liked working with the little kids," she said, adding that about 120 children annually attend the drama camp.
But teaching drama, which she loves, isn't Mendoza's only foray into the arts. She has been teaching dance at the Martin School of Dance for the past year.
"I'm looking forward to teaching ballet again this fall," she said.
This past summer, Mendoza has taught a jazz class for the dance school. Her normal work week includes three or four dance classes a week, plus time for dance classes of her own. Mendoza, who will perform a ballet as her talent for the Miss Sunnyside Pageant, is a full time ballet student at the Sunnyside dance school. She also takes classes in hip hop, jazz and has studied gymnastics.
"I really do love working with the children," she said.
That love of children may lead to her future career, she said. "I want to attend a university to become either a teacher or a children's physical therapist," she said.
Mendoza, who is active in her church as a member of the Venture Crew, is also a member of the Sunnyside High School science club, where she has excelled in regional and state science competitions.
If selected as the next Miss Sunnyside Mendoza will promote the Sunnyside School District Latchkey program as her choice of community service projects. "I think it is important that children have a safe place to be after school," she said.
The daughter of Debbie Mendoza of Sunnyside and Jesus Mendoza of Kennewick, she is being sponsored by the Daily Buzz and Shear Designs.