On Jan. 19, Alyssa Vasquez, 22, earned the title of Miss Silicon Valley 2019 at the Miss Silicon Valley 2019 Scholarship Competition held at the Mission City Center for Performing Arts. The Miss Santa Clara Organization gave Vasquez $2,500 in scholarship money. From singing Mozart’s “Als Luise Die Briefe” in German to describing her platform, Vasquez demonstrated a confident stage presence throughout the competition.
“I’m a full-time student at San Francisco State University studying kinesiology,” Vasquez said. “The money will go to this semester’s tuition. I plan to get my Master’s Degree to be a nurse practitioner and specialize in women’s health. I’m interested in OB/GYN and Gynecology. When it comes to women’s health, you’re the direct cure and the one the patient confides in.”
Vasquez’s platform is called “NO MORE: A Global Campaign to End Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.”
“As a survivor, I was able to get out and heal from this,” Vasquez said. “I was no longer a victim. I was a survivor. A lot of times, people lose self-confidence and they don’t know what their identity is because of what happened to them. They blame themselves. My goal is to empower women to take back their identity. If it’s something you encounter, there’s an entire community out there to help get you through this.”
Vasquez plans to go to high schools and organizations in Santa Clara and San Jose to talk to people about her platform.
“I want to start volunteering and work with women who are survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence,” she said.
During the competition’s on-stage interview, a judge asked Vasquez about what was the most important first step for a survivor of domestic violence. Vasquez’s response began with the idea that it was important for survivors to understand that they are not alone.
This year, contestants in the Miss Santa Clara Organization’s 2019 Scholarship Competitions for Miss Silicon Valley, Miss Santa Clara and Miss Santa Clara’s Outstanding Teen received $15,350 in scholarships.
Stephanie Quintal, Executive Director of the Miss Santa Clara Organization, holds the titles of Miss Santa Clara 2007 and Miss Southland 2008. Quintal expressed her gratitude to a number of organizations, especially to the City of Santa Clara, for sponsoring the competitions.
“We’re one of the few locals left in the State of California that gives a scholarship to each contestant,” Quintal said. “Competing in Miss California competitions, I earned $10,000 that went toward my education at Santa Clara University.”