Crystal Munoz ’12 Crowned Miss California Latina

by Bethany Wagner

At the Miss California Latina pageant award ceremony last November, Crystal Munoz ’12 stood in disbelief, humbled and thankful as the winning crown was placed upon her head.

“I told myself that this would be my last pageant and afterward I would just move on with my other plans,” said Munoz. “I was overwhelmed when the judges chose me. Miss California Latina is a big responsibility.Through this role, you become a role model to many, especially young girls. I am honored to fill this special position.”

Now Munoz uses her title to make a difference in her community. When selecting a platform for the Miss Latina pageant, Munoz drew upon the painful experiences of her childhood. “I struggled with obesity and bullying as a child, so I want to help kids who face the same challenges.” Munoz founded Crystal’s Kids Foundation, Inc., a program that helps kids in the San Gabriel Valley cultivate a healthier lifestyle. The foundation hosts monthly meetings at Pure Living Fitness in Glendora, drawing more than 40 children and their parents for fitness workouts and lessons about exercise and nutrition.

“When I began the program, I met with only four kids,” said Munoz. “Seeing the program grow is very rewarding. The foundation really brings families together, showing kids that they can exercise and have fun at the same time.”

A local to the San Gabriel Valley, Munoz grew up in Glendora and attended Western Christian High School in Covina. “I’ve lived and worked here my whole life, so I really do view the San Gabriel Valley as my home,” said Munoz. After attending Citrus College for two years, she transferred to APU where she graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism.

“I had a great experience at APU and gained many skills,” said Munoz.“I am so thankful to APU for my education. The university even sponsored me in the pageant.”

Munoz now attends Glendale University College of Law and works fulltime as a paralegal at her brother’s law firm, Munoz & Associates. “With a law degree in hand, I want to become a legal correspondent for a major news corporation such as ABC or NBC,” said Munoz.

Munoz was a contestant, emcee, and pageant coach for the Miss America Organization, and held the titles of Miss Azusa 2009, Miss National Orange 2010, Miss Yosemite Valley 2011, and Miss Greater Inland Empire 2012. Currently, Munoz is preparing for the Miss Latina U.S. competition in August. “Winning the Miss Latina U.S. title would allow me to promote my healthy living and anti-bullying platform not only on a state level, but also on a national level.”