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Q & A: Miss Minnesota Latina with Carina Ruiz

In this week’s Q&A we will be focusing on an amazing journey that has helped a particular Katie realize that dreams are possible with persistence and hope. Carina Ruiz ‘20, nursing student, has become Miss Minnesota Latina! And she’s an aspiring trauma nurse that will focus on patients with brain injuries.

Q: What is Miss Minnesota Latina?

A: Miss Minnesota Latina is a pageant system that focuses on uplifting Latinas and helping them uplift the Latino community. Their motto is “to be more than a model, a role model” and my desire is to fulfill that motto every single day as a queen and simply, as a person.

Q: How did you get involved?

A: I saw the casting call on a Facebook announcement and I decided to put myself out there without knowing anything about pageants but I did know one thing, that I want to get really far and check off some dreams that have been patiently waiting for me to achieve.

Q: Why is this important to you?

A: The crown and the glamour isn’t what is important to me; what’s really important to me is to be able to show young women and just women in general that circumstances do not define you, your dreams, or your future. It’s vital for me to be an example to community by being open with my story, making connections, and reassuring others that they can too complete any task they wish. You are always ones step away from living your truth.

Q: What did you have to do to win this competition?

A: You don’t have to complete a list of tasks but more so be genuine, a leader, and willing to take the responsibility of what is really means to be a role model, ALWAYS.

Q: How does it feel to be named Miss Minnesota Latina?

A: It feel amazing! It’s also a confirmation for me that anything and everything is possible. I really believe it pushed me to truly break out my shell and see my beauty for what it is, not for what my past is, not for how much I’ve endured, and not for the outer appearance. I feel beautiful because I recognize that it’s my truth. I want others to feel the same.

Q: What are your plans now as a MML?

A: I want to continue to volunteer at my local community center. I have started my own website and blog (www.carinaruiz.com) to connect with a broader audience and I hope to inspire and motivate others to chose their truth and their true desires before choosing any negative thought.

Q: What do you hope to do with this title?

A: I hope to meet new friends (as I have already) and push myself beyond my new limits and really make an impact nationally.

Q: Advice you’d give girls who want to get involved with MML?

A: Do it for you. Do it for self-love and let your curiosity and own discovery take you as far as you can imagine, and more!

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

A: If anyone wants to reach out I’d love to help in any way; and I also wish to end with this: Heal Thy Self —> Healthy Self

Andrea Duarte-Alonso is a grad from Saint Catherine University where she received her bachelor's of Art in Political Science, Women's Studies, and English. She founded HC STCU in order to include voices that are hardly ever represented in media. Andrea is a storyteller, writer, and a political enthusiast. Her areas of interest lie in writing (check her website storiesfromunheardvoices.com that was created for her community), traveling, and fighting for social justice issues.
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