PORTAGE | The Porter County Hispanic Assembly has joined efforts with the Miss Indiana Latina pageant in seeking entries for this year's pageant.
"The experience can teach Latinas how to network and become leaders in our society," said Victoria Salinas Gresham, of Portage, founder and president of the Porter County Hispanic Assembly. "For Latina teens, it will especially help them to build confidence and self esteem during a time when peer pressure can be at its worst."
Gresham noted there has been a lack of representation in the pageant from Porter County Latinas.
The state pageant is July 12 at Meyer's Castle in Dyer.
However, Gresham said they are seeking contestants this month to be featured during the Latin Extravaganz event, sponsored by the Porter County Hispanic Assembly on May 23 at Woodland Park in Portage.
At the event, the public can meet the 2012 reigning queens, Dennise Soto, Miss Indiana Latina, and Jessica Cabrera, Miss Indiana Teen Latina, along with 2013 Latina contestants.
Eligible applicants are Latinas between the ages of 13 years and 17 years old to compete in the Miss Indiana Teen Latina. Applicants for the Miss Indiana Latina pageant must be 19 years of age by May 1 and not over the age of 27 years on Dec. 31.
The Miss Indiana Latina and the Miss Indiana Teen Latina pageants promote the ideas, culture, interests and aspirations of today's Latina women.
The pageants are the only official Indiana competitions for Latinas endorsed by the Orgaizacion Miss America Latina del Mundo and give the chance for the Miss Indiana Latina winner to advance to the national pageant.
For more information on the 2013 state pageants, contact Mayra Rodriguez-Alvarez, state pageant director, by email at MissIndianaLatina@gmail.com or calling (219) 671-8687.