As of Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Cinthia Santiago-Villanueva, 16, is a young woman concerned with helping others and advocating for youth.
Daughter of Eudoxcio Santiago and Modesta Villanueva Vasquez, she decided to compete for the 2018-19 Miss Sunnyside title.
She feels it is a great opportunity to connect with people from her community.
Santiago-Villanueva said she will get to know more people in the community. She’s already had the chance to do so as she’s been out and about, selling tickets for the pageant.
“I feel this develops a greater connection with people outside my normal circles,” she said.
Santiago-Villanueva also thinks that this is a great way to gain confidence.
She sometimes views herself as a person who is more introverted but wants to step outside her comfort zone to gain self-assurance.
Santiago-Villanueva has an interest in advocacy for youth. She is a member of Sunnyside High School’s Prevention Club, Operation HOPE, DECA, and Link Crew.
After high school Santiago-Villanueva plans to join the Navy and apply to college after her commission.
“If I am crowned, some of my goals for this community would be to focus on prevention against drugs and alcohol,” Santiago-Villanueva said. “But, I would also like to work with a city beautification effort and would like to focus on projects with seniors and special needs kids.”
If selected to be the next Miss Sunnyside, she would like to organize an open community-based event with feature speakers and family-friendly activities.
The impetus for such an event stems from childhood experiences in another state.
“I lived in Florida and a lot of people were getting hurt and killed because of drugs,” Santiago-Villanueva said.
She feels all the candidates vying for the Miss Sunnyside title are similar, wanting to help the community.
Setting her apart is a focus on drug and alcohol prevention, but with an emphasis on the opioid crisis.
The Miss Sunnyside Pageant is 7 p.m. Sept. 15 in the Sunnyside High School auditorium, where all 11 candidates will take to the stage.