20th Anniversary for  Mr. and Miss Cardinal Pageant 

2022 Miss Cardinal City Anne Martinez and Mr. Cardinal City Michael Torres
(Photo by Steve Moore and provided courtesy of SBCUSD)

SAN BERNARDINO—On Saturday, Sept. 23, San Bernardino High School (SBHS) will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Mr. and Miss Cardinal City Pageants.

Beyond the pomp and circumstance, this event has focused on academics and it has helped hundreds of former students gain real-world skills that have led to success beyond high school.

Pageant founder and Bilingual School Outreach Worker Jaime Rios conceived of the pageant as a way to promote SBHS and the City of San Bernardino through the young people who he said are the future of the community.

“The Miss and Mr. Cardinal pageant isn’t just about glitz and glamor,” Rios said. “It’s a platform where character is honed, leadership is cultivated and resilience is fortified. Our participants aren’t merely contestants, they are the embodiment of ambition, grace, and unwavering determination.”

Gustavo Alvarez is one of those former students. He credits the pageant with helping him become the man he is today.

As the SBHS Class of 2012 alum and former Mr. Cardinal City, he is currently a doctoral student in mechanical engineering at Cornell University.

“Being Mr. Cardinal provided a space that encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone. As a truly shy high school student, I was able to gain more confidence in myself and my abilities to give back to the community,” said Alvarez.

Alvarez also works at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source and with Argonne National Laboratory. His research into the study of heat transfer to semiconductors is on the nanoscale.

If all that sounds like rocket science, that’s because it just might be. The applications of Alvarez’s research could lead to space probes that can study the outer corona of our sun.

This year’s Mr. Cardinal City contestants are Alejandro Davalos, Oswaldo Diego, Salvador Gaeta, Isaac Garcia, Alexis Quinteros, Angel Ramon Jauregui, Carlos Andres Robb Godoy, Victor Cham Rodriguez, and Nicholas Sebastian Virgen.

This year’s Miss Cardinal City contestants are Jocelyne Aguilar, Alexandra Xitlalli Barrera, Leslie Caldera, Angelina Cipres, Stephanie Dominguez, Alisson Janine Duque, Andrea Gonzalez, Victoria Ilene Guerrero, Wendy Madariaga, Dalia Aracely Mendoza, Camila Martinez Vargas, Lisa Mariah Morfin, Daisy Torres, Danielle Francesca Villanueva, Kayanna Aaliyah Marie Walker, and Angelina Lucy Waterson-Lopez.

“They have dedicated countless hours to refining their talents, perfecting their public speaking skills, and mastering the art of self-expression. They have navigated the ups and downs of competition, exemplifying the spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie,” said Rios. “But what truly sets this program apart is its profound impact on our students’ futures. It fosters the ability to communicate confidently, work tirelessly, and strive for excellence. These are qualities that transcend the stage and become the cornerstone of success in their academic, professional, and personal lives.”

As part of preparing for the pageant and possibly being crowned Mr. or Miss Cardinal City or being a member of the Cardinal City Court, all contestants volunteer many hours of service to San Bernardino and travel around the community.

Alvarez said of his experience, “Mr. Cardinal provided me the opportunity to experience San Bernardino County in a new perspective as Jamie (Rios) and I attended several community service and pageant events. I am truly grateful to all that the Mr. Cardinal pageant had to offer.”

The public is invited to attend the Mr. and Miss Cardinal City Pageant on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and are available by contacting Jaime Rios at (909) 881-8217 or jaime.rios@sbcusd.k12.ca.us.

Due to ongoing construction at SBHS, this year’s pageant is being held at Indian Springs High School, 650 North Del Rosa Drive in San Bernardino.

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