Focus on Faces

Valerie Onsurez

Valerie Onsurez photo 5/4/2007 10:32:36 a.m. - Hobbs, NM. Not just a darling face of New Mexico Junior College and possibly the next face of Miss New Mexico, Valerie Onsurez carries accolades that are far more than skin deep.

Currently carrying the titles of Miss Zia, Miss Hispanic Heritage Queen, and captain of the NMJC ThunderSpirits cheerleading squad, Valerie continues her college education at NMJC, after graduating in May '06, to complete transfer hours while fulfilling her current reigning commitments and preparing for the upcoming Miss New Mexico competition in June.

With her current titles being somewhat pageant in nature, Valerie's disposition certainly didn't start that way. In fact, it has only been in the last year that Valerie has contemplated pageantry of any kind.

Valerie grew up in the country and recollects attending family graduations thinking that she wanted to be that individual who spoke at graduation. From then on, Valedictorian was on her mind. Valerie always remembers having a strong ambition to read. Valerie recollects that on her first day of kindergarten, "I didn't want to leave."

It wasn't only academics Valerie relished. She's played the flute since fifth grade, she has been engaged in various types of cultural dancing, and she was a very active member in her local and district FFA chapters.

In fact, working with "a darling" is one of the first opportunities Valerie experienced in a leadership role. She was the bank president for her junior high's micro society and "a darling" was the students' name for the monetary instrument used in the bank, named not after Valerie, but after the school's principal Mr. Darling.

Valerie was the first female president of her local FFA chapter, where she participated in the Creed competition; extemporaraneous public speaking; and forestry, poultry, and horticulture judging. She also served in numerous offices for the local and district FFA chapters.

In just about anything Valerie has put her mind to, she has excelled. Mentioning only a few of her highlights, Valerie was first chair in her high school band, and in 2003, she was the only New Mexican selected to play in the National FFA Band at the 75th Annual National FFA Convention. In 2004, Valerie was selected as a delegate for the United States Senate Youth Program, in which only two delegates from each state are selected to attend. Valerie also traveled to Hong Kong with the NMJC band and played in several concerts while there. Last but certainly not least of all, Valerie represented her graduating class as Valedictorian.

Valerie didn't soar to new heights alone; she attributes much of her success to the values and persistence her parents instilled in her. Valerie also credits many teachers, coaches, and individuals for the many leadership opportunities that have molded her. Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Program Ambassador, numerous class offices, numerous FFA offices, NMJC Phi Beta Lambda President, FFA Creed coach, Cheer Summer Camp Director, and numerous civic volunteer opportunities are just a few leadership roles that equip her to be a strong role model that she feels the next Miss New Mexico should possess.

Valerie will travel to Alamogordo in June, the location of the Miss New Mexico pageant. Valerie has chosen the FFA realm in which to place her platform issue: promoting agricultural education through FFA. Valerie will return to some of her culture for her talent, a flamingo dance.

If you've never personally experienced the full beauty of Valerie's presence, it is her inner beauty that will leave a lasting impression.

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