"I told everyone that when I grew up I was going to be Miss Universe," said Lyssa Aruda, Miss Newport Coast, one of four girls from the Newport Beach area that competed in the Miss California Teen USA Pageant in Palm Springs last weekend.
Jill St. Geme, Miss Newport Beach, who attends Corona del Mar High School, with Lyssa, was a Top 10 finisher. Other local participants include Brooke Hanrahan, Miss Corona del Mar, who attends Mater Dei High School, and Amber Papst, Miss Laguna Beach, who attends Newport Harbor High School.
Competing against neighbors made the pageant more fun, they said.
"It was very nice knowing other girls from Newport Beach," Jill said. "It was comforting to be able to pick out a few familiar faces in a group full of strangers."
The pageant is known for being a welcoming to newcomers, but both CdMHS girls had competed before. Lyssa, who was a pageant girl throughout her childhood, held three National Supreme titles and acted as a spokesmodel for Hakes International Pageant.