San Diego State student Lauryn Ndoumbe will be representing San Diego County in the Miss California USA competition in December.
Ndoumbe is a junior international economics major and competing in Miss California will be her first major pageant.
“I have wanted to do this ever since I was a little girl,” Ndoumbe said.
Her father, Michael Ndoumbe, said that it didn’t surprise him when she applied for Miss San Diego.
“She was always very interested in pageants on TV — Miss America, Miss Universe, Miss California, always watching it and looking at dresses and everything,” Michael Ndoumbe said. “She’s very passionate about fashion shows, modeling, taking pictures and has always had that desire.”
Ndoumbe currently runs a fashion blog on instagram,
@europeanfashionvictim, and is hoping to begin a YouTube channel and use her title as Miss San Diego to help promote it.
Although pageants are known at first glance for beauty, dresses, hair and makeup, there is a large philanthropy aspect to pageants as well.
Ndoumbe said that she wanted to be a doctor when she was younger. However while in college she switched her major to international economics. Her desire to become a doctor stemmed from her time spent volunteering at a hospital while growing up.
Ndoumbe plans to use her title as Miss San Diego to engage herself in more philanthropy and helping the community.
Some of the companies she has reached out to include St. John’s Hospital.
She also wants to find a way for bakeries and restaurants to be able to donate their leftover food — since there is a law that allows and protects them to do so — and help solve San Diego’s hunger problem.
“I feel like our generation needs to be a little bit more giving, we’re so focused on social media and trying to appease other people, we have a lot more capability than just that. So hopefully I’ll be able to set a good example for people around me,” Ndoumbe said.
Ndoumbe also has looked for advice from Miss Teen Beverly Hills title holder AnnaNoel Olson. Olson has been in pageants for about two years and helps Ndoumbe with insider tips from being in the industry.
“More important than working out or picking out your outfit, I would advise her to go out there, do events, network. You want to have those experiences that can’t be bought and heartfelt stories to talk about during interviews,” Olson said.
Olson said that the best part of pageants for her has been making lasting friendships with the girls who are also in pageants and helping other people at charity events.
Olson has been involved with an anti-human trafficking walk, has raised raised over $3,600 in two hours for the California fires and has met with a young girl with a heart condition, Zoey, and has spent time with her throughout her recovery.
Ndoumbe said she is hoping to make a lasting impact on people’s lives and hopes her title as Miss San Diego will help her do that.
Ndoumbe must first complete the application fee to receive her sash as Miss San Diego.
She is hosting a breakfast at AppleBee’s and she also has a GoFundMe page to help raise money.
The Miss California USA event is set to take place Dec. 7-9 in Long Beach.
The winner will go on to compete in Miss USA, and the winner of that will go on to compete internationally for Miss Universe.