COSTA MESA — An Estancia High School junior will represent Costa Mesa as she advances to the Distinguished Young Women's state competition this summer.
Lauren Peterson, 16, won the title of Distinguished Young Woman of Costa Mesa at the program's regional Southern California Awards Scholarship competition on April 30. She will compete for the state title at the end of July for the chance to represent California at a national competition in Mobile, Ala.
Distinguished Young Women, formerly named the Junior Miss Scholarship program, is a pageant, but Lauren is quick to clarify it's not about beauty or ball gowns.
The girls have to have a talent and answer questions, but it's more about finding your true self and developing into a better person, she said.
"I didn't really have to learn anything to be in the pageant, but I did learn a lot about myself," she said.