Jessa Carmack, 20, and Caroline Monahan, 14, brought their poise, talent and bubbly personalities to the Mission City Center for Performing Arts on the evening Jan. 10 for the Miss Santa Clara & Outstanding Teen scholarship competitions. By the end of the evening, Carmack was crowned Miss Santa Clara 2015, and Monahan became Miss Santa Clara’s Outstanding Teen 2015. The two will compete in the Miss California and Outstanding Teen competitions in the summer.
“It’s an honor to represent this city one more time,” says Carmack, a former Miss Santa Clara’s Outstanding Teen, Miss Mission City’s Outstanding Teen and Miss California’s Outstanding Teen.
When Carmack isn’t busy studying public relations and communications at San Jose State University, she performs as a San Francisco 49ers Gold Rush cheerleader. Carmack is accustomed to having a busy schedule, and is confident that she can manage all her responsibilities.
During the talent segment, Carmack performed an energetic dance to “A Little Party” with handstands, hands-free cartwheels and spirited moves.
“I’ve been dancing with the Gold Rush for three seasons, and since we primarily dance, that’s what I wanted to showcase on stage,” Carmack says.
Instilling a healthy lifestyle in youth is Carmack’s platform. She has experience educating young people about nutrition and exercise.
Monahan has competed in the Miss Santa Clara’s Outstanding Teen competition three times. So winning on her third try makes the experience of wearing her new tiara extra sweet. For her talent, Monahan jazz danced with exuberance to “Shake It Off.”
“My platform is volunteerism,” Monahan says. “I’m going to reach out to people of any age to get them to help out in the community.”
The Santa Clara High School student credits her mother for helping her prepare for the interview segment of the competition. She is also grateful to the people who worked with her through the competition.
“People here are so encouraging, and my fellow contestants were so nice,” Monahan says.
During the Teen competition, Dosya Conley shared her admiration of a famous dancer when answering the on-stage question. During the evening wear segment, Lexi Castro charmingly strutted across the stage in a powder blue strapless gown. During the talent segment, Natalie Desousa spun and swirled while jazz dancing to “Let It Go.”
In the Miss competition, Marielle L’Heureux defied gravity as she tumbled through the air to “Gravity” and Rachel Sanville sounded like an opera singer while performing a classical piece. Responding to on-stage questions, Reina Stevens shared that she’d like to start a dance studio if she could open any business in Santa Clara, and Faithe Pearson named former Miss Santa Clara Tiah Esquibel as a titleholder she has enjoyed getting to know.
Miss Santa Clara
Miss Santa Clara- Jessa Carmack, $5,000
First Runner Up- Rachel Sanville, $1,000
Non-Finalists- Marielle L’Heureux, Reina Stevens, Faithe Pearson, (3 @$500) $1,500
Interview- Jessa Carmack, $100
Talent- Rachel Sanville, $100
Miss Congeniality- Marielle L’Heureux, $50
Miss Santa Clara’s Outstanding Teen
Miss Santa Clara’s Outstanding Teen- Caroline Monahan, $2,000
Non-Finalists- Dosya Conley, Lexi Castro, Natalie Desousa, (3 @ $200) $600
Interview- Caroline Monahan, $100
Talent- Natalie Desousa, $100
Miss Congeniality- Natalie Desousa, $50