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Newly-crowned Miss Gustine Aubrie Hazan is looking forward to representing her community in the year ahead.

GUSTINE - Newly-crowned Miss Gustine Aubrie Hazan looks forward to representing her community in the year ahead.

Hazan, a senior at Gustine High who has long been involved in her school and community, said she has been considering participating in the Miss Gustine Pageant for several years.

Running for Miss Gustine became a part of Hazan’s plan when she saw first hand how much of an impact she could have on her community. “I first thought about running for Miss Gustine when (seeing) the 2015 Miss Gustine and her court help with the Lions Club Christmas toy drive that year. It really showed me what Miss Gustine was about, giving back to the community,” she recalled.

The weeks leading up to the pageant brought a range of emotions, Hazan acknowledged. She looks back and admits that it was intimidating at first.

“There was so much that came with the pageant process. There were the practices, mock interviews, and downtown events we had to attend,” she stated.

However, with all that was going on, she began to feel the excitement and imagined what it would be like should she be represent her community as Miss Gustine.

Hazan said she enjoyed being able to get to better know her fellow contestants and developed an even deeper appreciation for her community during the process.

 “[Looking back], I felt that all of us were so prepared,” she said of the contestants. “Our pageant coordinator Leslie Reynoso did an amazing job with all of us.”

Being crowned Miss Gustine was a moment of surprise, pride and excitement, Hazan related.

She has already taken part in a number of events.

“ I was able to be a part of Gustine’s Fourth of July festivities, as well as the Linguica Run. I enjoyed all of them and enjoyed representing my town. I can’t wait for this year and being able to attend different events with my court,” she stated.

When looking forward to the year ahead, Hazan said she hopes to serve as a role model and mentor for the youth of her community while also becoming more involved.

Hazan encourages anyone entertaining thoughts of running for Miss Gustine in the future to do so.

“Do your best, go out to our different community events, and get your name and face out there. After all, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take,” she reflected.

A busy senior year is in store for Hazan, the 17-year-old daughter of Russell and Julie Hazan.

She is actively involved in her school’s FFA program and will be chapter vice president and a national FFA delegate this year. Hazan is also active in student government at Gustine High, and is a teen leader in the West Side 4-H Club.

After high school, Hazan plans to study veterinary science at Kansas State University.

Hazan expressed her appreciation to her sponsor, A-Plus Plumbing, her parents, friends and family who supported her during the pageant process.