The Road To Miss Pennsylvania

Video posted May 2, 2018 in News by Jamila L. White


If you would have asked 9-year old Alisa Vasquez if she could see herself competing for beauty pageants in the near future, she would have confidently said no as she knew she wanted to be an actress. Unfortunately, she was told by several agents that she did not fit the mold of a child actress as she looked too old for her age. Her mom, realizing how upsetting this was for Alisa, presented her with another opportunity. 
To the outside world, pageants are seen as just a beauty competition. Nonetheless, to Vasquez and the other thousands of women that compete for one single title understand that it is so much more. Vasquez puts in a minimum of 15 hours a week to compete for an organization that shares the same values as her: giving back to the community, uplifting women, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Miss America contestants contribute thousands of community service hours a year and have raised over $15 million for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and scholarships since 2007.
Vasquez recently won the title of Miss Central Pennsylvania in January so that she could compete for Miss Pennsylvania which would ultimately lead her to Miss America. As the pageant nears, Vasquez begins to question the decisions that she has made leading up to this point. She did not apply for any internships for the upcoming summer because she strongly believes that this is her year to be selected as the next Miss Pennsylvania. However, what happens if everything that she has prepared for in the last nine years does not go as planned? With no future plans prepared outside of Miss Pennsylvania, Alisa depends on God and her willingness of wanting to achieve to guide her in being selected as the next Miss Pennsylvania.
To follow Alisa’s Miss Pennsylvania journey, please go to

About the Contributors

Jamila White's photo

Jamila White

Senior / E! News Intern

I fell in love with the art of storytelling in elementary school. I was amazed that an individual could impact an audience’s emotions through language. It was not until the fourth grade when my aunt jokingly mentioned that I should pursue a career that pays me to do what I love: talking.

This backhanded compliment yet genius idea stuck with me until my freshman year at The Pennsylvania State University. I was eager to serve as one of the main sources of news for thousands or even millions of people. Nonetheless, I began to explore a passion that was always seeking the attention I never thought it deserved. The amount of time I spent discovering new music and dissecting lyrics for their true meaning was abnormal. That is why I am pursuing a career as an Entertainment Reporter so that I can combine both my passions for journalism and music.

What was supposed to be my junior year at Penn State turned into a year-long internship at a top ten market with WJLA ABC7/NewsChannel 8 in Washington, D.C. This experience confirmed that everything I had dreamt of becoming was in arms reach. My ability to thrive under pressure, adapt to any environment, and work well in a group setting made it so that WJLA maintained their reputation as one of the top news sources in the Washington Metropolitan Area. During the final months of my internship, the station confided in me to serve as the Associate Producer for “Hispanic Agenda”, a recorded program that discussed an array of topics, focusing primarily on politics and its impact on the Latino community. The show was recorded in both English and Spanish allowing me to take complete advantage of my bilingual skills.

I am eager to begin my journey as a reporter and I am looking forward to all of the opportunities and experiences that come my way!