A new Miss Tehachapi for 2020 was crowned Saturday night outdoors at the lovely Shirley's Place wedding venue in Stallion Springs. Ruby Zheng, 19, and her court will be the latest queens to serve the community in the coming year.
Twelve girls ages of 2 through 19 competed for the five coveted crowns.
"I'm super excited to see what this year holds, and am proud to be your Miss Tehachapi 2020!" said Zheng, a Tehachapi resident her entire life. A student at The Master's University in Santa Clarita, Zheng is studying to become an elementary school teacher.
Her hobbies include swimming, photography and traveling.
"As Miss Tehachapi, I hope to promote my platform — Crowns and Carryalls — which is where I put bags of essentials together for children in the foster care system," Zheng said.
As the year continues, Zheng said, she will adopt and promote other platforms.
Rheanna Bell, a 13-year-old freshman at Tehachapi High School, was crowned Junior Miss Tehachapi. Bell said she looks forward to a year of hard work and community fun.
Bell has chosen a dual platform: Autism awareness and Operation Underground Railroad — both of which are near and dear to her heart.
Bell enjoys playing the trumpet for the school band, and is active in various team sports.
Little sister Kendra Bell was crowned Young Miss Tehachapi. Kendra is a fifth-grade student at Cummings Valley Elementary School.
The spunky, energetic sibling has a genuine love for animals and fellow mankind.
"She loves to occasionally crack a joke to make people smile," said her mother, Amber Bell.
Kendra's platform this year is focused on human kindness and feeding the local homeless as well as making care bags for elderly care facilities.
Both Bell girls said they are ready to take on the challenges of community service with their new team of fellow queens.
Luz Natalia Sanchez, a 16-year-old junior at Tehachapi High School, was crowned Miss Teen Tehachapi.
Sanchez played center position as a freshman and sophomore for the Lady Warriors basketball team. She enjoys listening to music, dancing, cooking and learning new things.
Her platforms include autism, brain aneurysm and breast cancer as these have all impacted her and her family. She will spend time spreading awareness for early detection.
Little sister Jocelyn Corrales, a 9-year-old student at Cummings Valley Elementary School, was crowned Little Miss Tehachapi.
Her hobbies include art and painting. Corrales' platform is prevention of cruelty to animals. She has already donated several boxes of doggie pads to Adopt-a-Pet.
Her future goals are to become a doctor to help the sick and to travel to Hawaii.
Director Debbie Rea said this year's pageant was smaller than ones held in the past due to the coronavirus.
"They will be limited in their duties this year, but they will be doing things at home like collecting items for the homeless, trafficking victims or animal shelters," said Rea.
A panel of four judges scored the girls on their evening gowns, impromptu question, interview and a speech each girl wrote about a country or destination of their choice. The girls were also required to wear a costume to coordinate with their speech.
Said Rea, "That was really cute."