UA senior wins Miss Southeast Arizona pageant - Tucson News Now

UA senior wins Miss Southeast Arizona pageant

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SIERRA VISTA, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A University of Arizona senior was crowned Miss Southeast Arizona on Saturday night.

Natalie Sanchez, 23, qualified to compete in Miss Arizona Scholarship Pageant in June. The Tucson native won the title after finishing second a week earlier in Miss Pima County.

"I was enthralled," said Sanchez, who is majoring in journalism and minoring in fashion. "I kept placing first runner-up, and almost gave up.

"But being the determined and goal-oriented person I am, I decided I should compete because I wouldn't want to be left with the question 'what if?' "

Sanchez was competing in the final qualifier this year for the Miss Arizona pageant. It was her last chance to become Miss Arizona because she would have been too old next year.
 
"I also decided to compete in my first pageant outside of Tucson, because Miss Southeast Arizona represents a larger portion than only Tucson.
 
"It represents Tucson, Sierra Vista, Benson and Bisbee. I now have the opportunity to implement my platform on a larger level."
 
Sanchez's platform was "Linking to Literacy." She volunteers as a story-time reader with Make Way for Books and works as a performing artist with Stories that Soar, a sister program of Literacy Connects.
 
For her talent performance Saturday night, Sanchez sang a pop-opera song, "Time to Say Goodbye/Con te Partiro," made famous by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli.

The 2008 Marana High graduate was chosen the winner Saturday over a field of seven contestants. She was crowned by Miss Southeast Arizona 2012, Monica Urena.

The Miss Arizona winner advances to Miss America, which is returning to Atlantic City, N.J., this year in September.

Piper Stoeckel, a UA student, won Miss Arizona in 2012.

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