Lahaina’s Jasmine Lei Valdez to compete in Ms. Hawaii Pageant
LAHAINA — Lahaina girl Jasmine Lei Valdez is stepping out of the box this year on her birthday.
She’s celebrating personal growth, entering the Ms. Hawaii Pageant on Oahu when she turns 34 on March 13.
The Miss Hawaii Pageant is separated into three divisions: The Scholarship Miss Hawaii division for young women ages 18 to 25, the over 25 Ms. Hawaii category and the Mrs. Hawaii Pageant.
The 5’4” svelte beauty is the only contestant from Maui entering the Ms. Hawaii competition.
“I am representing Lahaina; I’m very proud of where I am from,” the 1995 Lahainaluna High School graduate commented.
The career-oriented Valdez works in the hotel industry, currently employed as assistant front office manager at The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort at North Beach.
“I love it,” she said.
She’s worked her way through the ranks since graduation, training to better her position from the ground up — from a reservations agent at the Maui Marriott Resort and Ocean Club in 2003 to a rooms reservation supervisor at the Grand Wailea Resort and Spa in 2007.
“I am on a path,” she said. “I don’t want to stay in the same position too long.“
Glenn Casil is her division head at the North Beach resort where she is currently employed. Casil and MayLing Barbosa, director of human resources, support Valdez and her aspirations.
“She believes the public speaking and community involvement through the pageantry will further grow her self-esteem and professional disposition as a leader within her hospitality career,” they said in a joint statement.
“If I am fortunate enough to win the state title,” she noted, “I will be able to further my education and career and become instrumental in helping people and my community.“
Valdez is a member of the Gazmen ‘Ohana, the daughter of Charlotte Ranger and William Valdez.
She is also a single mom. Her son is six-year-old Logan Rickard.
Her biggest challenge is balancing her career and “being a mommy.“
By entering the pageant, she wants to be a strong role model.
“I just wanted to definitely show how no matter what age and how busy you are, you can still do things like this. I’ve always pushed myself to do a little bit more just to have that experience,” she said.
Her older cousin, Lisa Agdeppa, is a West Side elementary school No Children Left Behind tutor.
“Jasmine has learned to appreciate challenges in her life and see them as potentials for growth,” Agdeppa said.
Valdez seeks pageant sponsorship through an advertisement in the pageant program or monetary donation.
“I’m trying to raise $4,000; that would help me with airfare, all the pageant costs, registration and gowns. Anything I do not use will go right back into the community through community service and donations to charities,” Valdez explained.
“Lahaina is a very close-knit town where everyone knows everyone,” Agdeppa remarked. “There isn’t a day that goes by where you don’t see at least one person that you know — a friend, a coworker or family. The community cares about its people; we nurture each other and give back to each other in various ways.
“As Jasmine pursues this pageant to gain experience, make new friends, earn the respect of the community and also give back monetarily to a nonprofit organization, her energy and drive can be motivating for all. Jasmine’s drive to succeed and ambitions for a great future for her son and herself can only enhance her passion for serving her community and town of Lahaina.”
For more information, or to help support Valdez, call 276-5900.