More From Italy!

Caio from Italia!
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Three days of SIGEP are in the books and we have two more to go. The American Pistachio Growers and I have been hard at work for three days spreading awareness of California grown pistachios to the trade show attendees of all nationalities! We have had hundreds of people stop by our booth wanting to sample our pistachios. After they enjoy a taste they are shocked that they came from California. There has been a hug16176504_10155247134868455_1218393148_ne interest of placing an order for our American grown pistachios. It has been a very successful three days if you ask me!

When you walk in to SIGEP you are exposed to gelato heaven. I cannot believe how many gelato businesses are in the industry! Every business is sampling and giving out free gelato, which of course means I have been tasting more gelato than I ever thought I would. Good thing I am a fan of exercise and fitness 😊 16176374_10155247134578455_865515547_n

From the sections of the convention center that I have walked around, I have not noticed another American company other than
American Pistachio Growers. I am very proud to be a brand ambassador for an association that has the drive and
wants to spread their brand and product world wide. Even though it may be challenging at times to communicate because of the language barrier, every person who has tasted our pistachios has said. “Yum! Yes, very very good!” 16325473_10155255389988455_317925507_oMy days have been full of explaining “Pistacci California,” taking photos with very friendly people, speaking small phrases of Italian and spending time with the amazing APG staff. Now it is time to get some rest and get ready for two more days in Rimini!
Buona notte,
Jessa

ITALIA!

After 25 hours of travel, a delayed flight, a layover in Frankfurt, a re-routed flight from Florence to Bologna and a bus from Bologna, we finally made it to Florence!

I am here in Italy with Judy and Rebecca from the American Pistachio Growers (APG) to represent APG and American grown pistachios at SIGEP, a 5-day trade show, in Rimini. This isn’t your typical trade show, it is a gelato, bakery and confection ingredient show!

Jessa and JudyBefore making our way over to Rimini, we enjoyed a couple days exploring other breathtaking cities in Italy. First up was Firenze, aka Florence! The first thing I said when I looked out at the view of my hotel room was WOW. I could not believe how stunning the scenery of the city is. After a day full of playing tourist, I can assure you that my WOW did not fade. From the Basilica di San Croce, walking across the Ponte Vecchio, climbing the Duomo, exploring the old mansion turned museum of the Medici’s, enjoying the view of the entire city at the Piazzale Michelangelo, seeing the famous David sculpture in the Galleria dell’Accademi and eating yummy Florentine food, I loved every second of Florence!

The next day of my Italy adventure, we started with a quick train ride to the beautiful city of Bologna. Bologna is full of vibrant colors, more tasty food (of course) and EVEN MORE breathtaking views. My favorite part about my day in Bologna was climbing the famous tower and taking in the view of the entire city and beyond. Let me tell you, w
hen you climb the tower those stairs feel never ending, but when you reach the top it is worth every step!

Jessa in FlorenceTomorrow we will journey over to Rimini and will begin preparing for SIGEP. So far, my time in Italia has been unbelievable and I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to be an official American Pistachio Growers brand ambassador for my year as Miss California. Thank you for your support and sponsorship of the Miss California Organization, APG! I have had a blast representing your organization and can’t wait to share the perfect snack and American grown pistachios with even more of the world.

Caio for now!
Jessa

100 days as Miss California 2016

Wow. 100 days as Miss California. The past 100 days have been a whirlwind. A whirlwind full of priceless memories, unbeatable experiences and incredible people. Let me break down these 100 days for you, starting from July 2nd.

The MOMENT

July 2nd, 2016 is when it all began. After a week of fun in Fresno with 48 women that all would serve as an exceptional Miss California, it all came down to one moment.screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-1-34-46-pm The moment when I found myself as one of the final three contestants left on the William Saroyan Theatre stage, waiting to hear the judge’s selection of Miss California 2016. Then it happened, Kira Kazantsev, Miss America 2015, announced me as the new Miss California. Immediately the feelings of shock and excitement rushed in and I knew that all of my hard work preparing for the competition had paid off and my seven-year journey in the Miss America Organization was coming full circle. With a new shiny accessory and $22,300 in scholarship money, which means no more student loan debt, I was (and still am) so grateful that the judges put their trust in me to represent the Miss California Organization for an entire year.

The PREP

The day after the crowning, still running off of adrenaline, I immediately sat down to begin my paperwork, and essentially my preparation for Miss America. liliana-footwearNext, I spent a few days in Northern California for the annual RWC 4th of July parade and celebration in Redwood City. Then I was on my way to Orange, California to relocate with my host family, the lovely Harris’. For eight weeks my days were action-packed, full of meetings with our Miss California sponsors, gathering essentials for Miss America, meeting new people, practicing my new talent routine, traveling and making appearances. One of the highlights of my prep was my family and friends “sending me off” to Miss America at my send-off party in my hometown, Santa Clara. In those eight weeks I took 10 flights, travelled over 22,000 miles, stayed in 5 hotel rooms and drove 4 different cars. It was exhilarating!

The SPONSORS

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-9-39-38-pmI was in pristine hands in my first weeks as Miss California. Patricia Murray, Russ Gladden, Donna Jones, Sherry Cain, Connie Oliver and the rest of the Miss California board of directors and leadership made sure I was more than 100% ready to take on my time in Atlantic City.

Not only did I have the support of the Miss California leadership, but I was also lucky to have the support of so many phenomenal sponsors! Core Arts Pilates worked me into tiptop shape for the Miss America stage. The Pink Door Salon made sure my hair looked like silk. Tamara’s Skin Care and DMK had my skin glowing like it never had before. Linda Ontiveros showered me with makeup to compliment the glowing skin Tamara gave me. Dale Carnegie Orange County gave me tips on how to communicate with diplomacy and tact. Shot by Shana and Makeup by Maskara did a phenomenal job of capturing my Miss America headshot. Beach Candy Swimwear guaranteed my Miss America swimsuit fit just right. Eva Varro, Paige Denim, Lorna Jane and Liliana Footwear gifted me with the perfect pieces for my Miss California and Miss America wardrobe. bricsMia Bella Couture and Jovani created my stunning and ideal Miss America Evening Gown. Savinar Luggage and Brics USA provided me with a BEAUTIFUL 5-piece luggage set so I could travel to Atlantic City in style.

I am incredibly thankful and grateful for these businesses and their support of our organization.

The COMPETITION

The time had finally come. My bags were packed and I was off to Atlantic City for 14 days, where I would bond with 51 unbelievable women and compete for the job of a lifetime. miss-america-shotsWe toured Atlantic City, embraced the humidity, rehearsed for hours at a time, slept in unusual places, filmed in a hurricane, danced to no music, ate too much dessert, formed sister-like friendships, laughed at everything and competed in this thing called Miss America. I am so grateful to have placed in the Top 10 out of what started as 8,000 women across the country. But, most importantly, I am grateful for $7,000 toward my higher education, the experience only very few people get to have and for the friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.

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The PEOPLE

Along this 100-day journey, I met some of the most impressive, accomplished, caring, giving and selfless people. My absolute favorites out of the bunch were the children. building-a-healthy-future I’ve had the opportunity to meet and share #BuildingAHealthyFuture with nearly 3,000 children at schools, day cares, boys & girls clubs, children’s hospitals, appearances and youth programs.

One of the many reasons why I wanted to serve as Miss California was to share my story and message with the youth and see their faces light up when they see the sparkly “hat” I sport. These are my favorite moments.

The PLACES

Being Miss California, I feel like I am Miss America! I have been able to travel our country and our diverse state in the last couple of months. Some of my travels have included Washington D.C., New York, Orlando, Atlantic City, Northern California, Southern California, Fresno a couple of times and my latest adventure in Blythe!lincoln-memorial It is my goal as Miss California to travel to as many cities in California as possible and meet as many people as I can. Us Californians are lucky and extremely fortunate to live in a state that has so much to offer, including a uniquely, diverse population of people.

The MESSAGE

The night I was crowned Miss California, I stated in my speech at the gala that I will live my year by my personal philosophy: Value the present. Live free of tension, full of love, happiness and laughter. Be a lifelong learner, Embody dedication and uniqueness. Create.

For 100 days I have reminded myself of this philosophy and have embraced every day with these words and will continue to do so.

Throughout every venture in my life I have always strived to #BeExtraordinary. No matter what you are doing, where you are going or who you are with, I believe that you should always have the goal to be extraordinary. My mission as Miss California 2016 is to share this with California. This is what I want my legacy to be.

The YEAR AHEAD

It has only been 100 days, but I have already made memories that I will cherish forever and accomplished so many things that I wanted to accomplish as Miss California. My year doesn’t stop here. I will continue to travel our state and country, meet as many people as possible, advocate a healthy future for our youth, share the Miss America Organization and strive to be an extraordinary Miss California. I cannot wait for the rest of the year ahead of me. Adventures are coming! Stay tuned!

Xo

Jessa

 

My Miss California Ad Pages!

A huge THANK YOU to all who donated to my Miss California ad pages! I am so lucky to have such a fantastic support system.

These pages will be featured in the official Miss California program book where friends, family, sponsors, the judges and many more will be able to see! Not only are you supporting me with your donation to my ad pages, but you are supporting the entire Miss California organization. With your generous donations the program will be able to put on a spectacular show! If you are interested in attending the Miss California competition this summer in Fresno, visit the Miss California website where information about ticket sales will be posted once it becomes available.

Not able to make it to Fresno? No worries! Each preliminary night and the final night of competition will be available through a live-stream! More information to come 🙂

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You can vote me into the Top 15 at Miss California!

Exciting news! You have the chance to help me secure a spot in the Top 15 at the Miss California competition! You can show your support, anytime, anywhere by voting at MissCalifornia.org/vote.

Each vote costs $1, and ALL proceeds will fund 100% of Miss California 2016’s winning scholarship! The winner of ‪#‎MissCalifornia‬ People’s Choice will earn a spot in the Top 15! Voting ends June 30th, so vote today! Your support is MUCH appreciated 🙂

Check out my people’s choice video here!:

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