Miss Garden Grove 2017: Missy Mendoza

Almost every little girl has dreamed of being a princess. Every single chick flick movie we watch features girls at a sleepover with their friends, walking the runway, dressing up, and doing makeup. Each girl feels beautiful as she showcases her individuality–their talents, goals, and diverse personalities inspire other young women and girls to go after what they believe in.

As she walked out into the glaring lights of the auditorium for the evening gown walk,  Missy Mendoza held her head high and exuded nothing but confidence. By the end of the night, she was crowned Miss Garden Grove 2017.

“When my name was called, I was overwhelmed with so many emotions. I remember looking up and having tears in my eyes, thinking ‘we did it!’”

       This honor came with a crown, flowers, scholarships, appearances and most importantly, confidence.Winning a title is not based on beauty. Contestants are judged on personality, poise  grooming, interview, and onstage questions. 

The Miss Garden Grove Pageant was originally called the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival Pageant, where young girls won recognition and were crowned exclusively at the Strawberry Festival. Throughout the years, the local pageant has gained enough prominence to become a preliminary stage to qualify the winner for Miss California and Miss America. The Miss Garden Grove Scholarship Organization empowers young women to represent their city and has awarded over $5,000 in scholarships annually to help them pursue their educational goals.

Missy Mendoza was crowned Miss Garden Grove 2013. After 3 years, a titleholder is allowed to compete as a candidate in the Miss Garden Grove Scholarship competition, so in 2017, Missy Mendoza won the title of Miss Garden Grove for a second time.

Missy Mendoza graduated Garden Grove High school in 2011. She found out about the Miss Garden Grove Organization during the announcements in Mrs. Jue’s AP U.S. History class.

Missy was a four year cheerleader at GGHS. She was captain for two out of the four years, a responsibility that helped her gain valuable leadership skills while learning to work cohesively with her teammates and administrators. She enjoyed performing arts, such as singing and acting. Missy was also in the school production of Annie in which she played the character July. This experience helped her with onstage presence. Her other involvements at GGHS included Argolog, Class of 2011, Mock Trial, and National Honors Society.

She is currently attending CSUF with a degree in communications and a concentration in Public Relations. With her dedication and commitment to the city, Missy currently works for City Hall in the Office of Community Relations. Her plan and future goal is to obtain her masters degree 

in Public Administration, where she can continue working as a public servant to the community. After winning, Miss Garden Grove embarks on a yearlong duty filled with responsibilities and appearances. Miss Garden Grove is also an ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Orange County,  speaking on behalf of the children and raising awareness for children’s health issues. Through her years of experience as Miss Garden Grove, Missy cherishes the moments where she gets to “speak to service clubs and school classrooms about the Miss Garden Grove Organization” and spread awareness to her platform- DUI Prevention and Awareness. Of course, she enjoys assisting at the Strawberry Festival, too, a yearly tradition in Garden Grove and attending the Miss California competition in Fresno.

Missy’s goal is to represent her hometown of Garden Grove and embody its motto: young and ambition. She recalls, “When the school won the CIF Division Championship in 2011, the City hosted a mini parade on Main Street”. It was her “first real eye opener to how the City supported the community of Garden Grove.” As the town came together, Missy was inspired to become an ambassador for the city that has given her so much. She states, “It only felt right to fully immerse myself and dedicate a whole year to the community that helped shape me into the woman I am today.”