Photo courtesy of Bella Lam
In her first attempt at pageantry, Diamond Bar High School junior Bella Lam was crowned Miss Diamond Bar 2019 on March 10.
Her court consists of runner-up DBHS junior Valerie Ov, senior Jennifer Quinones and juniors Aria Ting and Jennifer Nie along with Diamond Ranch High School junior Emma Ibarra, all of whom were chosen as the Miss Diamond Bar Princesses.
For the past 55 years, the Miss Diamond Bar pageant has been a channel through which the city recognizes female high school students for their community service. The contestants began preparing for the pageant in January under the mentorship of DBHS senior Shereen Wu, who served as Miss Diamond Bar 2018.
They learned how the pageant worked, how to participate in an activewear and evening gown competitions as well as how to answer the questions.
For her finalist question, Lam was asked: “If you can be an apprentice of anyone for a day, past, present, or future, who would it be and why?”
“I said Michelle Obama because she’s a woman of such confidence and grace,” Lam said. “She’s a moderate First Lady that a lot of people could relate to, and she started the ‘Let’s Move’ movement to help child obesity.”
When Lam first moved to Diamond Bar when she was in elementary school, a neighbor approached her mother and suggested that Lam enter the pageant in high school. Although she initially didn’t feel confident enough to enter, Lam said she later decided to enter this year because she wanted to put herself out there.
“[When I won,] I was really happy and I was super excited to begin my new year with my new friends,” Lam said.
Aside from her academic classes, she is involved in several extracurricular activities, including serving as an officer for the American Red Cross Club and volunteering at the St. Jude Medical Center. She has also competed in the Fencing Junior Olympics National Championships.
“I want to lead with confidence and show other people in our community that they can look up to me and also be confident,” Lam said.
She aspires to become a doctor of psychology to assist young girls in combating mental illness and also start a nonprofit organization to boost girls’ confidence and self-esteem.
“I just want girls to know that I went through what they went through and that they can get help,” Lam said. “Things always get better although it doesn’t always feel that way at first.”