A sold-out crowd watched and cheered as the contestants battled it out in swimsuit, talent, evening gown and onstage interview categories. Souza and Quiocho, who bested a field of 11 young women, will now have a chance to compete in the Miss Hawaii 2008 contest in July on Oahu. The winner of that contest will continue on to compete in the 2009 Miss America Scholarship Pageant.
Pageant Executive Director Iolani Chun said that besides representing Maui in the Miss Hawaii pageant, the women will serve as advocates for their selected platform.
“Part of their responsibility is to be a spokesmodel for young adults and to better educate the public about their platform,” Chun said.
Souza, 18, of Wailuku, is currently studying early childhood education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Through her “Education is the key to success” platform issue, she hopes to inspire others to obtain an education regardless of their background.
“I truly believe education is an important part of people’s life. I want to make it so that everyone has a fair shot at an education regardless of what’s going on at home or other circumstances in their lives,” Souza said.
Quiocho, 19, of Kahului, is currently studying auto mechanics at Maui Community College. As a female in a male-dominated field, she was inspired to take “Equal rights and opportunity for women” as her platform issue.
“I want to show that women can step out of the box and do anything they want, even if it’s in a male dominated field. I’m somebody different and I hope in the future to be an example for others,” Quiocho said.
Souza and Quiocho both received a one-year scholarship to Maui Community College, a diamond necklace from Jere Diamonds and Fine Jewelry, an evening gown to wear at the Miss Hawaii pageant and additional prizes from pageant sponsors.
First runner-up is Ashley Jardine, second runner-up is Danielle Aleah Haunani Cadiz, third runner-up is Lauren Kahealani Kang and fourth runner-up is Marissa Pulama Petsas.
Celebrating victory at the Miss Maui and Miss ‘Ulalena Pageant Feb. 23 were Associate Director Pamela Kimura, (from left); Kau‘i Lahela Souza, 2008 Miss Maui; Executive Director Iolani Chun; Lyndsay Rae Quiocho, 2008 Miss ‘Ulalena; and Executive Associate Director Doug De Cambra.
Photo by John Henry Photography