Ali Castro (Courtesy Photo)
In September, Ali Castro was selected as Roswell High School’s homecoming queen and now, she hopes to be chosen as America’s Homecoming Queen.
Castro will represent New Mexico in the national pageant and also participate in events of the 54th annual Autozone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn., this weekend.
The winner of the pageant will receive a scholarship toward college tuition. Castro, 18, plans to attend University of New Mexico and major in psychology.
She applied for the pageant after hearing about the pageant and scholarship from teacher Debbie Dumlao, who also sponsored homecoming activities. Only a small number of homecoming queens who apply are invited to participate and selection is based on academic achievement, community activities, and “all-around status as an outstanding individual.”
As part of the pageant, the queens will participate in a weekend of events such as a downtown parade, a luncheon and a tour of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where they will have the chance to meet with some patients. The queens also will be featured in the game’s half-time performance, alongside The Temptations.
Castro feels blessed to participate. “It’s a once in a lifetime thing,” she said. “I was happy to get homecoming queen, but I don’t think there’s a lot of people who’ve gotten to do the things that I have this year.”
Longtime friend and Miss Roswell winner DeAnna Jerge and her mother Laurie, encouraged her to accept the invite, she said, and have helped her prepare for the pageant by lending her a tiara and an elegant, white gown to wear during the half-time show.
In addition to the tiara Jerge has given her, Castro plans to take another to give to a child at St. Jude.