Tennessee Pageant for Latinas Now Recruiting for 2013
Karen Valencia crowned Miss Teen Tennessee Latina 2012 Jessica Paola Abtahi No Longer Miss Tennessee Latina 2012
By: Miss Tennessee Latina Organization
New directors Mildred Veron and Vicky Shuler, since August 2011, have conducted the Miss & Teen Tennessee Latina pageants for the state. Both are very proud to be part of an organization that strives to empower women of Latina heritage and enable them to embrace and showcase their culture while serving the community. As positive leaders in their community they founded and operate The “Ballet Folklorico Viva Panama” Dance Group since 2006. This begun their journey in working with young children to embrace their heritage in dance and feel proud of “where they come from.” Mildred and Vicky themselves come from Panama City, Panama in Central America and were taught at a very young age the values of “family and respect,” which they have strived to uphold throughout their own lives.
This past April 29, 2012 16-year-old Karen Reneé Valencia of Lavergne, Tennessee was crowned Miss Teen Tennessee Latina 2012, at the Eclipse in Clarksville, Tennessee. Karen was born in El Salvador; she has lived in the US for past 11 years. Karen is part of the Honors Society at LaVergne High School and is also a member of the schools club HOSA (Health Occupational Students of America). She plans to attend Vanderbilt University, and study Medicine in hopes of becoming an OB/GYN Physician.
Jessica Paola Abtahi had earlier been named Miss Tennessee Latina 2012 to represent the state at the National Finals held this year in Riviera Maya, Mexico. “We were very excited about having an accomplished young woman like Jessica to represent the state at Nationals,” says co-director Mildred Veron, adding that “it was very distressing for us” when she had a change-of-heart at the last minute about her participation. As a result of not fulfilling her obligations, as required of a state titleholder, Jessica Paola forfeited her title and is no longer Miss Tennessee Latina 2012. No successor will be named in her place. Karen Reneé will officially represent the organization at all titleholder functions until the 2013 Pageants to crown new winners in both the Miss and Teen divisions.
For more information and to receive the pageant application, email misstnlatina@
MISS TENNESSEE LATINA™ and MISS TEEN TENNESSEE LATINA™ are official state pageants in the national Miss Latina US™ Pageant system, independently conducted and produced under license from Organizacion Miss America Latina, Inc.
The MISS LATINA US™ Pageant was developed in the United States to recognize the personal and cultural attributes of young Hispanic women beyond their physical beauty. For Latina woman in the US, this program represents a chance to compete in a traditional pageant that welcomes their identification with their Hispanic ancestry. It awards them the opportunity to win on their own merits, without regard to their ethnicity. To the contrary, their ethnicity is celebrated. For more information, visit the official website www.missuslatina.com.
About Organizacion Miss America Latina, Inc.: based in Miami, Florida, it is the oldest and largest producer of Latina pageants worldwide. Beginning in 1981, founding President Acirema Alayeto created an international pageant system where Latin American women from around the world annually compete for the title of MISS LATIN AMERICA® OF THE WORLD, best known worldwide as “MISS AMERICA LATINA DEL MUNDO.” The company also produces the annual MISS LATINA US™ Pageant, official national preliminary to Miss Latin America of the World.