Rancho Santa Fe resident to compete in Miss California Teen USA pageant

A Rancho Santa Fe resident has been selected to represent the City of Angels in the upcoming Miss California Teen USA pageant.

Kianoosh Jafari, a 17-year-old honors student at San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas, will compete in the pageant in Long Beach from Dec. 1 to Dec. 3. The winner of the competition will go on to compete for the Miss Teen USA title at the national Miss USA competition.

Kianoosh is on her school's varsity speech and debate team and competes in Lincoln-Douglas morality debates across California. She is also treasurer of her school's "Sweet Friends" type one diabetes support group and leads a nonprofit organization called Noosh's Pause for Paws that raises funds for local animal shelters.

The lifelong San Diego native recently discussed her aspirations for becoming the next Miss Teen USA.

For more information about the Miss Teen USA competition, visit misscaliforniausa.com.

How were you selected to compete in this pageant?

I competed in an official Miss California Teen USA preliminary pageant called Miss City of Angels Teen USA where I was fortunate enough to take home the crown and sash out of dozens of other girls. As a contestant, I competed in activewear, evening gown, a personal interview and onstage questions, all of which were compiled to create a final score. The contestant with the highest score received the title of Miss City of Angels Teen USA and my entry fee for the state pageant was paid for.

What is your history with pageants? How long have you been doing them, why did you get involved and why do you enjoy doing them?

I have been competing in pageants for about two years now. As a child, I had always wanted to enter a pageant, but lacked the confidence to do so. However, one day I decided to take the risk and enter a pageant. Ever since, I have completely fallen in love with them. I love the confidence and important life skills they teach women. Not only that, but my public speaking skills have improved greatly, allowing me to apply theses skill to other aspects of my life. Whether it be through school, speech and debate or college interviews, pageants encourage me to be the best version of myself that I can possibly be.

Why should you win?

The crown and sash of Miss California Teen USA are not just beautiful accessories to me. They represent an opportunity to promote important causes all across the state of California. One cause that is very near and dear to my heart is my nonprofit organization, Noosh’s Pause for Paws, where I collect new and used blankets, towels, sheets and other goods that animals need and distribute them amongst animal shelters in Los Angeles and San Diego. With the title of Miss California Teen USA, I would be able to reach a much larger audience, thus allowing me to gain more donations and help more animals in need.

When and why did you start this nonprofit? What's your goal with the nonprofit? How much have you raised so far?

After begging my mother for a dog for 14 years, she finally allowed me to adopt one. Not long after adopting my dog Oliver, my view towards animals changed forever. Oliver has allowed me to witness first-hand the love and happiness that pets can provide. This love for animals has inspired me to start my own nonprofit organization, Noosh’s Pause for Paws. My ultimate goal is to provide animals with comfort and hope during their times of need. Through the thousands of donations I have distributed to shelters, I have been able to do exactly that and hope to expand my nonprofit and help as many animals as possible.

You're involved in a type one diabetes club at school. Why is this important to you?

I have been the treasurer of a type one diabetes support group called Sweet Friends for approximately three years now. I am involved in this club because both my father and my best friend as well as a few other students at my school have type one diabetes. Through this club, I am able to learn more about type one diabetes and how I can support those who are affected by it. In addition, through the “Sweet Friends” club, we have been able to raise over $1,000 for the JDRF type one diabetes research organization, allowing us to come one step closer towards finding a cure. This has been one of the many contributions I have made to support my loved ones suffering from type one diabetes as well as others affected by the disease

What other extracurricular activities are you involved in?

I am heavily involved with my school’s Speech and Debate team where I compete in Lincoln-Douglas morality debates. In these types of debates, I am given a hypothetical moral issue and must argue for or against the topic with very little time to prepare. Through my onstage questions at pageants, I have learned to think and respond on the spot to similar topics but in front of larger audiences. I feel that this has further improved my confidence and speaking in debates.

What or who do you hope to represent by winning Miss California Teen USA?

If given the opportunity to become the next Miss California Teen USA, I would love to be a representative for animals in need. There are millions of animals across the country who are struggling to survive and find a loving home, but are unable to reach out and receive help. With the title of Miss California Teen USA, I would love to be a voice for these animals. The crown and sash of Miss California Teen USA have a lot of power, and I would love to use that power to be a representative for homeless and shelter animals across the country.

What do you like about representing San Diego specifically?

I have lived in San Diego my whole life. This city is everything I know and holds an important place in my heart. To be a representative for the city of San Diego at such a large pageant is truly an honor. I love both San Diego and pageantry, so to be given the opportunity to represent my hometown at a pageant is a great way to combine the two.

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