Soroptimist International of Buena Park sponsors the annual Miss Buena Park Scholarship program with the City of Buena Park. At the end of the reigning year, Miss Buena Park and her Court members are formally thanked during an out-going ceremony.
This year, the goodbyes were said in the lovely conference room of the Buena Park Police facility.
Heading up the 2016-2017 Scholarship year was Soroptimist member Mary Sutherland who explained that the young women involved in the Miss Buena Park program had been totally committed to their calling in the community, attending Soroptimist and City functions.
Sutherland said their Soroptimist group received calls and thanks from all over the city for the girl’s help as they represented the City with pride and dignity. “They are Ambassadors for the City wherever they go,” said Sutherland.
“It’s an honor to work with the wonderful girls who run for Miss Buena Park,” said Sutherland. “Their community involvement through different programs within the City is a journey that the girls will hold dear for a life-time. So, to be part of a mentoring program that helps the girls succeed in their community is very rewarding not only for me but for Soroptimist International of Buena Park,” she said.
Immediate Past Miss Buena Park, April Ortega and Past Princess Jennifer Hartman are now going to become more involved in the Scholarship program being mentored toward leadership in Soroptimists and the Miss Buena Park Scholarship program.
Young ladies who are 16-years-of-age by the night of the annual ball, which is set this year for Saturday, Oct. 7, are eligible to try-out for the title.
The out-going Court members were asked to tell something about themselves.
Miss Buena Park 2016-2017 Kaylen Weiss said she attended a lot of City events and worked with a homeless project she started; she helped with the Cops and Goblins police program at Halloween; rode in the annual Anaheim parade and helped with the Buena Park Senior Super Saturday, along with helping Santa Claus light the City Christmas tree at City Hall. She also helped with the annual Shopping Spree for less fortunate children sponsored by the various charity organizations within the City and helped with the annual Junior High Shopping for less fortunate junior high girls, to help them have basic essential clothing such as underwear; that program was started by Kelsey Quinn, who gave her own $500 winnings from a contest she won at Buena Park Downtown, “Kids with Heart,” to help junior high girls whom she felt were under-represented. Soroptimists matched her funds to help the junior high girls and the program was on its way and continues to date.
Weiss is off to the University of New Mexico to become a dental hygienist. “I want to do community service there and I want to join a Sorority because they do community service,” she said.
Princess Janice Kim said she is going to attend the University of Riverside. “I’m studying biology and want to be an oncologist along with studying abroad,” she said.
Princess Paulina Cortez raised a huge white turkey and showed it at the Orange County Fair. “I plan on attending California State University Chico in Northern California to study agricultural education and learn how to teach in approximately five years and return to teach at Buena Park High School.” she said.
Princess Jennifer Hartman is a graduate of Western High School and plans to attend Goldenwest Community College to get her general education then transfer to Cal State Fullerton or Cal State Long Beach to become a nurse. “My parents own a photography studio and I plan on helping them with that too,” she said.
Princess Destinee Campos is a senior at Buena Park High School and will enlist in the Army, pursuing a pharmaceutical career in Texas.
Princess Kaitlyn Camarena is a senior at Buena Park High School and plans to be either a police officer or a Foreign Affairs officer. “I want to work in a third-world country,” she said.
“This is a very dear program to me; I love the young ladies; they mean a lot to me,” said Sutherland. “I’m very proud of the girls. No matter when I would call them, they were always ready to serve the community and attend the next event – these are girls whose parents have raised them right – and they have made good choices,” she said.
Sutherland praised her Soroptimist members as well, saying, “You cannot do a program like this unless you have a great team behind you – the Soroptimist members are right behind you and right behind the community,” said Sutherland.
“I want to congratulate you young women for your commitment. I have enjoyed working with you; Live your Dream – write your dream down and write how you are going to get there – have a plan and follow it.”
This article was released by Soroptimist International of Buena Park.