Miss Tustin contestants share their hopes and fears

Who will be the next Miss Tustin? One of these 11 young women.

They will take the stage Saturday evening to answer interview questions, perform their various talents, model swimsuits and – perhaps most intimidating of all – gracefully walk in high heels.

The contestants share with us what they have gained from the pageant – and reveal which aspect of it most produces butterflies in the stomach.

Ana Karina Benitez

Age: 18

School/work: Santiago Canyon College; Hollister sales clerk

Goal: Practicing business law

Talent: Samba dance

What lesson have you learned participating in Miss Tustin? “How to walk properly in high heels.”

What about Saturday night makes you the most nervous? “Walking in high heels!”

Leslie Buezo

Age: 17

School: Foothill High

Goal: Surgeon

Talent: Vocal. “I sing to stay calm.”

What about Saturday night makes you the most nervous? “The interview because I’m a very nervous person and tend to freeze.”

What sets you apart? “I speak fast and eat a lot.”

Mara Clifford

Age: 22

School/work: Irvine Valley College; office clerk on campus

Goal: CPA

Talent: Hula and Tahitian dance. “I’ve been performing it for seven years.”

What about Saturday night makes you the most nervous? “I don’t want to slip or fall in front of my friends and family.”

What sets you apart? “I am a self-supporting student who has learned to love what I have and who I am.”

Mattison Cross

Age: 18

School/work: Orange Coast College; sewing instructor

Goal: Kindergarten teacher for the deaf

Talent: Vocal and sign language interpretation. “I’m fluent in ASL and have a passion for the deaf community.”

What sets you apart? “I’ve been a part of the Miss California organization since my mom competed for Miss City of Orange in the ’90s.”

Emma Foss

Age: 20

School/work: Chapman University; painting teacher at Brushstrokes

Goal: Master’s in art therapy; art therapist

Talent: Speed painting. “I invented it for myself…

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