Miss Temple City Caroline Truong and her Honor Court Shine Fu and Sharon Lai are always seen around the community. From volunteering at the Concerts in the Park every Wednesday to attending various Chamber of Commerce mixers, the young ladies put a lot of time and effort into serving Temple City.
Being selected to be Miss Temple City and Honor Court is a great honor because the girls have to go through a five-month long training process and a pageant before being selected.
Now crowned, they share their thoughts on the try-out process and their Miss Temple City experience.
What inspired you to try out for Miss Temple City?
Caroline: Being able to help change the community for the better is something I want to be part of. My seniors in high school actually inspired me: [they] always attended community events, made people laugh, and inspired others who were younger than them—that was something I want[ed] to be part of and [be] able to do.
Shine: The ad on the door.
Sharon: I just wanted the experience and a lot of previous contestants said it was a good experience and it was fun; they encouraged me to try out.
What do you think was the most important thing you learned trying out?
Caroline: A contestant should always be herself. I kind of had a self-discovery moment from this program. I realized that I needed to impress the judges and everyone else with my own personality. I needed to show them why I really wanted to be Miss Temple City. Whether I won or not, I knew I would gain something without hiding behind a mask.
Shine: To have confidence.
Sharon: I think the most important thing that I learned is to get along with other girls in a competitive environment. Also, I learned about who I am as a person.
How has it been being Miss Temple City and what do you like the most about it?
Caroline: I feel very honored being Miss Temple City. The Honor Court members and I have had a couple of events so far. The thing I like about being Miss Temple City is that you meet so many people and it’s really neat to know that children look up to you. I hope I can inspire them to do well in the future. I also love attending the Concerts in the Park; besides the fact that there are so many people to socialize with, the activities, and the music is brilliant.
Shine: It’s been a great experience so far. [I enjoy] concerts in the park.
Sharon: So far, being on court has been quite an experience. Every week we get to go to the park to play with the kids, and it just brings a smile on my face when the kids come to look for us and give us a big hug when they see us.
If you could give any advice to girls trying out next year, what would it be?
Caroline: No matter what, always believe in yourself. Don’t let people discourage or degrade you.
Shine: Even if you’re unsure of whether or not you really want to participate in the pageant, just go for it because the experience and the things you learn from it are once in a lifetime things. It was way out of my comfort zone, but I still went for it.
Sharon: I think the most important advice really is to be who you are. You want to win because you are being yourself, not because you are trying to be someone you are not. By being yourself, you can get along with other people much better, and you won’t be ashamed of being fake. Also, learn to get along with everyone, because we are all in this together.
This interview was conducted by Christine Keung. It was published in the Temple City Voice on August 21, 2009.