Jessa Carmack, Miss Santa Clara 2015, and Melissa Bowling, Miss Silicon Valley 2015, are no strangers to the spotlight. Carmack is an professional cheerleader and Bowling sing at sporting events. Later this month, the Santa Clara Auxiliary is sending these two young women to the Miss California scholarship competition in Fresno.
“My platform is Building a Healthy Future and it focuses on instilling a healthy lifestyle in youth,” says Carmack. “I dedicated a week in April to Every Kid Healthy Week. During the week, I visited several different elementary schools. I told students there are two parts to being healthy and that’s healthy eating and exercise.”
During the talent segment at the Miss California competition, Carmack will perform a jazz acrobatics routine to “Hip Hip Chin Chin.”
“I will be dancing and doing acrobatics,” Carmack says. “I have always walked on my hands in every routine I’ve performed so that is something I will be doing. I think this move is a crowd favorite.”
For Carmack, the biggest challenge is anticipation of the big event. Another task has been selecting the right attire.
“Mary McCaman, the director of the pageant, has been so supportive of us in picking the perfect attire to wear,” she says.
Carmack is also Miss California’s Outstanding Teen 2011, Miss Mission City’s Outstanding Teen 2011 and Miss Santa Clara’s Outstanding Teen 2010. She is studying public relations and communications at San Jose State University.
Like Carmack, Bowling also holds multiple titles: Miss Santa Clara County 2013, Miss Santa Clara 2010 and Miss Santa Clara’s Outstanding Teen 2008. She recently graduated from California State University, Monterey Bay and plans to attend graduate school to pursue a career in social work.
“My platform is Supporting Caregivers in the Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s community,” Bowling says. “In March, I held and created a workshop for caregivers that provided them with resources and health and wellness tips. If I were to win Miss California, I’d like to bring this type of workshop throughout the state. For my talent, I’ll be singing ‘You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me.’ It’s from the movie Burlesque. The song has a message about never giving up.”
As Bowling prepares for the Miss California competition, she finds the weeks flying by fast.
“I eat healthy food and exercise,” Bowling says. “I’ve kept up on current events, and I’ve taken part in mock interviews. The preparation is easy because you’re just going as yourself. My biggest worry is making sure I have every dress, shoe, and earring when I get there.”
Caroline Monahan, Miss Santa Clara’s Outstanding Teen 2015, and Emily Sanchez, Miss Silicon Valley’s Outstanding Teen 2015 , are also titleholders from the Miss Santa Clara Auxiliary. They will participate in the Miss California’s Outstanding Teen competition.
On misscalifornia.org, fans can vote for their favorite contestant once a day per email address until June 8 at 11:59 p.m. The winner of the social media contest, which the fan favorite contest is a part of, wins an extra $500 scholarship.
Follow Carmack on Instagram and Twitter, @MissSantaClara, and Bowling on Instagram, @MissSiliconValley.