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Miss Alameda returns from pageant

Submitted by on 1, November 27, 2009 – 5:45 amOne Comment

jessicar1Miss Alameda, Jessica Robinson, returned this week from a whirlwind weekend in Palm Springs, where she was one of 133 women to compete in the Miss California USA pageant this past Sunday.

“It was an incredible experience,” Robinson, 25, said Monday of her first-ever pageant, which she saw advertised on a casting network she’s on.

Robinson, who holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of San Francisco in performing arts and social justice and who dances with Ballet Arts in Oakland, faced a much more challenging climb to the pageant than many of her fellow contestants.

While many of her fellow contestants could rely on family to help pay for the pageant training, clothes, and other items needed to compete, Robinson had to strike out to fundraise for her bid. This being her first pageant, the learning curve was steep. And she had just six months to do work that other contestants handle over the course of a whole year.

Even faced with those challenges, Robinson – who had the support of her grandmother, godfather godfather and grandmother – scored some triumphs. While she wasn’t chosen as a semifinalist (top honors ultimately went to Miss Sherwood, Nicole Johnson, who will compete in next April’s Miss USA pageant), she managed in short order to pull together more sponsors than any other contestant, ultimately raising around $3,000 with the help of several local businesses.

And then there was that defining element of every pageant – The Walk.

“I had no problem with the walk,” Robinson said, citing years of dance and gymnastics as aids. “I had one of the strongest in the bunch.”

Robinson is still deciding whether she’d like to compete in the pageant next year. She said many of the contestants, including several of the semifinalists in the top 15, had been in the competition before. In the meantime, she’s hoping to jump-start an acting career and is also looking for ways to spread the message in her pageant platform – that America needs to invest in green technology and green energy to jump-start the economy and save our environment.

“Our environment is dying. I strongly believe we have to start now,” Robinson said.

Robinson also still has some pageant expenses to pay, and you can help. Just stop by the Bank of Alameda branch at 1416 Park Street, where she has a fundraising account, and give them your contribution.

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