At 15, Giselle Alvarado is no stranger to the spotlight. Since the age of 7, she has modeled for companies like American Girl, JCPenny and Great Lodge. She has been in TV commercials for Peter Piper Pizza, American Heart Association and Boy Scouts of America. Her greatest achievements, though, have been in gymnastics as a State and Regional Champion for many years. Yet she still felt she lacked confidence… until now.
Congratulations on being crowned Miss Teen Fort Worth Latina 2018! How long have you participated in pageantry and why?
For two years—-I felt I needed to build up my confidence. The Miss Texas Latina organization, and my city director, Edna Tijerina, has truly helped me be more confident. I feel I am a much stronger person now because they focus on bringing out your inner beauty as well as your outer beauty and believing in yourself.
What do you hope to accomplish with your title?
As Miss Teen Fort Worth Latina, I hope to make an impact on not only my platform, which is anti-bullying, but also to inspire other young Latinas to reach their goals and embrace who they truly are. I truly believe in the organization’s motto: More Than a Model, a Role Model.
What pressures have you faced?
I broke my foot twice in gymnastics while trying to attend practices for the pageant. I felt like I was taking a step back from my goals not only because of my injury but I also found myself in a very negative state of mind. With the encouragement of my parents and Edna Tijerina, I was able to realize that in life you will always have struggles and obstacles but it is your attitude that you have towards these challenges that make you a stronger person. I am so glad I stuck with it…
“Confidence is not thinking you are better than anyone else. It is being comfortable with who you are right now.” ~ Edna Tijerina, Texas Latina Director, Miss Teen Texas Latina
How long will you wear the crown, and what will you do after you turn it over to the next winner?
I will be Miss Teen Fort Worth Latina roughly a year and should be crowning my successor next June. Before crowning my successor, I will be competing for the Miss Teen Texas Latina title in March 2019. If I win that title, I will go on to compete for the Miss Teen US Latina title.
How supportive are your parents?
My parents have always been my biggest supporters and have always cheered me on since day one. They have been supportive by taking me to all my events and cheering me on—-win or lose, and have encouraged me to try new things.
Describe yourself in one word.
Perfectionist. I will do something a million times until I get it right. I feel like this has helped me reach my goals.
How do you spend your spare time?
I love all forms of art. It relaxes me and brings out my creative side. I also love spending time with my family and friends; and love to watch movies and play board games.
What do you say to other young Latinas who want to follow your path?
Don’t let others change who you are or what you love. Always work on growing as an individual, try new things and stay determined no matter what obstacles you encounter. My director says if you do this, you are only competing with yourself.
Cover photo Hector Torres
Bob Valleau is a freelance writer living in McKinney, Texas