Alvarenga wins Miss Marin Teen

Although she was late in registering, senior Ruth Alvarenga still won first place, and a scholarship for $1,000 at the Miss Marin Teen pageant. Over the course of a month, Alvarenga prepared for the pageant, with her main focus being on advocating for mental health. Winning the pageant made Alvarenga a role model for many in the community.

The Miss Marin Teen competition is an opening competition to Miss California Teen and Miss America Teen. To compete you must be 13- 17 years old, a US citizen, a resident, student, or worker in the county, and meet the requirements set by the Miss America Teen program. For more information visit their website at

Alvarenga shared that she had attended pageants before but never competed in one. It was her dance teacher and owner of her dance studio, Love to Dance, Tara Caprice-Broadwater, who brought up the pageant to her dance team.

“She’s honestly the reason why I joined,” Alvarenga said. “At first when I got into this, it was very last minute, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I was like ‘It’s fine I’ll just push myself out of my comfort zone.’ ”

Every contestant has what’s called a Social Impact Initiative (SII) which is what they would use their platform to focus on. The winner would eventually go on to talk about it at community events. Alvarenga decided to focus her SII on mental health.

“We all have like a platform, mine is called ‘Life begins with Mental Health’. I’m excited to talk about that,” Alvarenga said.

Before the competition each contestant had an individual eight minute interview, in front of five judges. The actual pageant consisted of a short fitness portion, followed by a talent portion, which is worth most to the contestant’s score. Since Alvarenga has been dancing for 14 years of her life, 12 of which have been competitive, she performed a dance.

“I did a dance, I choreographed mine, to put my strengths in it and to show what I’m best at,” Alvarenga said.

Courtesy of Ruth Alvarenga
Ruth Alvarenga is crowned the winner of Miss Marin Teen. She plans to move on to Miss California Teen.

The evening gown portion was the last portion; each contestant walked on the stage in their evening gowns and heels. After an hour and a half, the pageant ended with Alvarenga being crowned Miss Marin Teen. This not only impacted her but people within the community as well.

“With getting congratulations from friends and family, one of the people that texted was like ‘You’re now such a big role model for girls, but not just girls, but latina girls too.’ It’s something that is really big, it’s really exciting.”

Even though the pageant is over, her duties are not. She also plans to move on to the next pageant: Miss California Teen.

“Now that I’ve done this it’s such a great opportunity,” Alvarenga said. “I have a whole year ahead of me going to different events and just speaking up about mental health.”

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