A Douglas teenager has brought some statewide recognition to Douglas after being crowned Miss Latino America de Lourdes Garcia.
Giselle Flores, daughter of Miguel and Marisela Flores of Douglas, was crowned by Mayor Robert Uribe at the Oct. 26 gala event that was held in Phoenix.
Flores, 14, a freshman at Douglas High School, is a member of the DHS Spiritline, student council, and is also involved in HOSA. She was first runner-up in the Miss Douglas Days Teen Pageant and was a top 10 state finalist at the National American Miss (NAM) Arizona Jr. Teen competition. She was the first runner-up for the National American Miss Arizona Spirit Award, which is voted on by the pageant staff and goes to the girl who is the friendliest and kindest pageant weekend. She is also a volunteer at both the Haven of Douglas and the House of Hope.
“I used to model for her (Lourdes Garcia) when I was smaller,” Giselle said. “She knew that I was interested in pageants. That’s how I got involved. Ms. Garcia has helped my dream come true. I appreciate her and thank her for all that she has done to help me.”
Giselle’s mom said her daughter will now be eligible to compete in a number of different events, beginning with an appearance in Las Vegas this December. She is also scheduled to appear at events in Los Angeles, Hollywood, San Francisco and several cities in Mexico.
“I’m really excited about this opportunity,” Giselle said. “It’s such an honor.”
Giselle also credits Caitlyn Kramer for motivating and well as preparing her for all that has happened lately.
Marisela said a text Kramer sent to Giselle after she placed in the top 10 at NAM congratulating her on her success and telling her how proud she was of her and all her hard work, meant so much to not only Giselle, but also her parents. The text also stated Giselle was the only girl who made top 10 this year, who was there competing for the first time.
“She has inspired her in so many ways,” Marisela said of Caitlyn.
“Caitlyn has really helped me,” Giselle said. “She has become my role model. She has helped me prepare for my public speaking, as well as how to walk (in pageants), and the importance of making eye contact when doing interviews. She taught me a lot about doing pageants.”
The family also wanted to publicly thank Mayor Uribe for attending the gala and helping in the crowning.
“We knew he was invited,” Miguel said. “To actually show up in Phoenix, I was surprised. That says a lot about him.”
“We had no idea if he was going to be there,” Marisela added. “He was actually one of her sponsors.” The other sponsors were, some of the staff Marisela works with at Copper Queen Medical in Douglas; Giselle’s grandmother Ramona Amaya and, the El Buron Restaurant.
“It was such an honor that he took time out of his busy schedule to attend and then help place the crown on me,” Giselle said of Mayor Uribe. “I honestly didn’t think he would go. When he told me that ‘he wouldn’t have missed it for the world,’ that meant a lot.”
“I can’t tell you how proud we are,” Miguel said of his daughter. “All this has happened within the past year beginning with the Miss Douglas Days pageant. I had no clue what we were getting into. She’s doing all this while going to high school and getting good grades.”
After high school Giselle says she hopes to pursue a degree in the medical field.
Giselle has two older brothers, Christian, who is currently in the U.S. Navy and Elian Antonio, who will depart in February for the Air Force.