It all started when Palmetto High eleventh-grader Stacy Beltran’s grandmother tried to coax Stacy’s 21-year old sister to compete in the Miss Florida USA pageant. Stephanie would have no part of it unless Stacy did it with her.
At age 16, Stacy had never done anything like it but eventually agreed to compete. “This is so out of the ordinary for me.” Because of their age difference, Stacy ran in the Miss Florida Teen USA contest, while her sister competed at the Miss Florida USA level. For first tries, the family results were remarkable. Stephanie was first runner up and Stacy won the title of Miss Palmetto Bay Teen USA.
“It was a complete shock! Not only that I won, but that I was awarded my crown for Palmetto Bay.” In the Miss Florida Teen USA competition, girls age 13-19 compete regionally simply to qualify to compete at the state level. If they win, they are assigned their crown for a particular area. Throughout Florida, there are around 80 regions that have crowns. “This is the very first year Palmetto Bay has a crown and I’m proud to wear it.” Stacy has met Mayor Shelley Stanczyk on several occaisions, as she did below when we got together at Village Hall.
To further herself in the community and be an ambassador, Stacy has a busy schedule and has already attended the Palmetto Bay Relay For Life, Palmetto Bay Business Association Ice Cream Social, the Deering Seafood Festival and other events in the three short months since being crowned.
When she’s not out in the community, Stacy is a pretty normal high school pupil. “I’m a good student and am involved with a few school clubs.” She has been dancing with the Variations Dance Club for three years. The team performs at pep rallies and sporting events. “It’s my favorite. I’ve been dancing since I was three,” explains Beltran.
Stacy insists her friends don’t treat her any different now. Then she pauses. “Actually, they really support me a lot and are really happy for me. They even will help me get to my events. So, yes things have changed…for the better.”
On the subject of boys, Stacy has not seen much of a change in attention. “That’s because I’ve had a steady boyfriend for more than a year.” When the other boys do talk to her, which she says is more frequent now, the subject is usually encouraging her about the Miss Florida Teen USA pageant.
Talking to Stacy is interesting. She conducts herself well beyond her years. She exudes confidence. “One of the great things I’m getting to do is talk with people and they come to me. I used to be shy and in the corner and not talking to anyone. Now I get to meet people from all walks of life and learn about them and the jobs they do. It’s wonderful!”
“I want to help people and make a difference. Breast cancer has touched my life and I plan on volunteering for events that support that cause. It will be my platform at the Miss Florida competition.” Longer term, I want to help people with their problems, so maybe I’ll be a therapist.”
You can tell that Stacy is learning and having fun with her pageant title by visiting her Facebook page. Various photos at events show you she isn't taking it too seriously either.
In October, Stacy will run for Miss Florida Teen USA. Given her confidence, poise and looks, I wouldn’t bet against her.