Sophomore Kassandra Gaona was crowned Miss Hispanic/ Latina OSU 2020 on March 7. The O’Colly talked with Gaona about her experience in the pageant and her platform:
My platform is raising awareness for the mental health issues caused by the foster care system. I chose that because my friend was in foster care, and I didn’t know how bad it was until last year when I took a course. I found out how awful it was, all the mental health issues that are caused because they’re taken away from their family, their home. Even though they’re mistreated, that’s the only thing they know so they’re attached to (they’re families), they love them. And I was like, “Hey, friend. Is it really that bad?” and she was like, “Oh, yeah. They treat you like absolute trash,” so I was like, “This is a problem, and we need to bring it to light.”
How do you hope to use your title to raise awareness for foster care children?
So, I plan to use my title to be able to host a couple of workshops that will be held in both Spanish and English, and they will be open to the Hispanic community here in Stillwater, not just at OSU. Also, to just any person who wants to come. I want to inform them of one, the importance of mental health and two, teach them that, “Hey, look at what foster care’s doing. We need to do something to change this or at least to help the kids out.”