Welcoming new royalty

Diamond Bar junior Julia Ruelas was crowned in the city’s annual competition.


Photo courtesy of Julia Ruelas

The final contestants, from left, were Crystal Tsao, Kyra Saldana, Julia Ruelas, Suhanee Malhotra and Annelise Hurtado.

Diamond Bar High School junior Julia Ruelas threading the final stitches into her homemade pageant dress, prepared to bring her best self onto the stage on March 7. Now she’s 2020’s Miss Diamond Bar.

Growing up, she had always heard about the annual competition, yet her decision to enter the pageant was not solidified until she was urged to sign up by one of her friends. The junior knew she would enter when senior Jennifer Nie, who competed in last year’s pageant, encouraged her to join.

“I ended up deciding to apply because I wanted to represent my city and school, and I felt like I would be a good fit for the position,” Ruelas said.

Knowing the respect that comes with the title of Miss Diamond Bar, the junior decided to challenge herself by becoming more involved with the community to help her in the competition.

In order to compete, Ruelas had to fill out a basic application form and attend a required general meeting. Following this, the final contestants practiced in multiple rehearsals in preparation for the final pageant day.

“We had rehearsals every single Saturday for six weeks, and we had to go through putting together a biography, or basically a resume, of yourself,” Ruelas said.

The contestants also had to choose the dresses and activewear that they would be walking in throughout the competition. The girls were required to learn a dance and practice answering a multitude of interview questions as well.

“We also practiced our walks, and we had to bring all of our clothes there and pretend like we were on the stage each time so we could transfer that onto the actual stage on the day of the pageant,” Ruelas said.

One of her most memorable experiences of the competition was learning the dance because many of the contestants were not dancers, but the group effort of practicing and rehearsing the choreography together became a bonding point for all the girls.

“One of my favorite things was that everyone was so supportive,” she said. “Everyone was rooting for each other and it was such a good atmosphere.”

During the contest, she had to answer the question,  “Who do you feel you inspire?” She said that she has inspired her little sister and her classmates.

“I just strive to be a good role model to anybody, like my peers, to my family,” Ruelas said. “I just want to make them proud so I carry that with everything I do in life.”

Her biggest obstacle during the competition was public speaking.

“I’ve MC-ed rallies and halftime shows but it was definitely different answering a question alone on the spot and having to keep composed,” she said.

The junior participated in multiple sports while she was younger, and she currently plays on the DBHS varsity soccer team. She is also involved in USB, class committee and prom committee. According to Ruelas, these activities taught her time management, responsibility and determination.

She said she also enjoys painting and sewing. It was through her passion for these activities that she was able to sew her own dress for this year’s competition.

“I love fashion and I love art, so I’m always painting and selling my art or sewing and selling my clothes,” Ruelas said.

Ruelas aspires to attend a university in the East Coast after she graduates from DBHS and wants to pursue a career in the majors she is passionate about: fashion and art.

The ultimate takeaway she received from the process of rehearsing for and competing in this year’s Miss Diamond Bar pageant was sticking to one’s goals and being persistent.

“I think with making my dress…and being formally interviewed, I learned that I can do anything if I put my mind and all of my effort into it,” Ruelas said.