Nicole Miner of Albuquerque figured this was her year. She’s run for Miss New Mexico for the past four years, each year ending as a runner up.
This year, Miner was named Miss New Mexico and she couldn’t be happier. She’ll be performing at the Clovis Music Festival Sept. 10-13.
Winner: The first year I was fourth runner up, then second, then first so I guess this year it was only meant to be.
In the beginning: I got started with Miss America when I was sophomore in college. The biggest difference between Miss America and other pageants is that you have be talented. I was really encouraged to get involved with the pageant. I would perform with my dad’s jazz band, the Ben Martinez Project. So I guess the system was always meant for me. And it’s a great way to obtain scholarships.
Representing New Mexico: Words can’t describe what it means to me to represent my state. It’s an overwhelming sense of responsibility. No matter where I am, my focus is to put my best foot forward for my state.
Lady sings pop: I’ve been singing since before I could walk. I like to sing jazz and pop. They’re completely different, I know. Jazz is just so relaxed and you can put so much into the music. With pop, you kind of let yourself go. It’s just fun.
Pageant hurdles: The most difficult part of a pageant is just learning to trust yourself and knowing who you are in the interview room and on stage. It’s kind of a mental thing. It’s about building confidence. Pageants can take you in so many different directions, you need to know where you want to go.
Life changing experience: My mom was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2003. It changed my life. It more or less made me who I am today. When she was diagnosed and going to treatment, I didn’t have a social life like a normal kid. Every weekend, we’d pick her up after treatment and I would spend the weekend in bed with her watching I Love Lucy reruns. I spend time raising money by organizing marathons and bike rides for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. That’s my way of supporting her and other families who are battling the disease.
— Compiled by Liliana Castillo