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Changing of the crowns Dave Schwab | Sat, Oct 07 2017 12:00 PM

There has been a changing of the guard on the local beauty pageant scene as Samantha Fakhimi and Rebecka Ibarra have succeeded Chantal Branscomb and Caitlin Lange, respectively, as Miss Bonita and Miss Chula Vista.

Branscomb and Lange both served a record 2 1/2 years in their role as community ambassadors.

Miss Chula Vista 2017, Rebecka Ibarra is a senior at Bonita Vista High School.  Her scholastic ambition is to attend Stanford University, with the career goal of becoming a dermatologist.  During her reign, she plans to be an advocate against domestic violence and abuse, and would also like to help empower young women to know their value and potential.  Rebecka is an accomplished vocalist and dancer, and is a member of her school’s award-winning show choir, Sound Unlimited.

Miss Bonita 2017, Samantha Fakhimi is also a senior at Bonita Vista High School.  She plans on attending college to obtain an undergraduate degree in Biology, and then medical school with a specialty in dermatology.  Her platform as Miss Bonita is education, and she will be working throughout her reign to promote the importance of this issue in our community.  In her spare time, Samantha enjoys singing and playing tennis, and is part of her school’s Varsity Tennis Team.

“In addition to promoting their personal platforms, some of their duties will include attending events in their respective towns such as fairs and festivals, holiday celebrations, fundraisers, ribbon cuttings and more,” said Andrea Elam, the new Miss Bonita/Miss Chula Vista pageant director.

Max Branscomb, Southwestern College journalism professor, student advisor and parent of outgoing Miss Chula Vista Chantal Branscomb, talked about the significance of being a pageant representative.

“For two-and-a-half years Chantal and Caitlin were terrific ambassadors for young people,” Max said. “They used their intelligence, talent and passion to elevate our community. They were also great role models for young women and children.”

Of his friend Elam, Branscomb said, “Andria has an impressive background as a performing artist, leader and community servant. She was one of the best Miss Bonitas ever, and single-handedly transformed the title into a platform for community service.  She has continued as a talented community leader ever since.

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