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By Sierra Billock

March 8, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- On Saturday, March 3, 2018, the city of La Mesa and the city of Santee held the annual Miss La Mesa and Miss Santee Pageants. The programs have been a tradition in the cities since the late 1960’s and are an outstanding mentoring program for young women. Mayor John Minto from Santee and Mayor Mark Araposathis from La Mesa were in attendance to formally present Miss La Mesa 2018 Kelli Loper, Miss Teen La Mesa 2018 Kennedy Dirkes, Miss Santee 2018 Laurene Vouaux and Miss Teen Santee 2018 Jordan Bockert.

Young women from the east county region entered the pageant in hopes of becoming their new city ambassador. The contestants were scored on personal interview, speech, evening gown & beauty, on-stage question and overall impression. The young women chosen to represent their city will spend the year attending grand openings, parades, chamber events and charity fundraisers. Each winner will receive a college scholarship along with a list of other prizes which can be found on our website

The results were as follows:Miss La Mesa 2018, Kelli LoperMiss Santee 2018, Laurene Vouaux Miss Essay Award, Michaela Barney Miss Speech Award, Michaela Barney Miss Photogenic, Laurene Vouaux Miss Congeniality, Samantha Harper Fan Favorite, Jordan Bockert

Miss Teen La Mesa 2018, Kennedy Dirkes Miss Teen Santee 2018, Jordan Bockert Teen Essay Award, Haley DelgadilloTeen Speech Award, Jordan Bockert

Kennedy Dirkes is a 17-year-old student at Grossmont High School. She currently has a 4.6 GPA and participates in her school’s ASB where she was recently elected ASB president. When she isn’t studying, you can find her playing volleyball or lifting weights at the gym. She aspires to play volleyball in college.

Jordan Bockert is a 15-year-old student at Santana High School. She is a tri-sport varsity athlete with a 4.6 GPA. Jordan hopes to attend a 4-year university, so she can one day move to the East Coast and become an editor-in-chief of a magazine.

Kelli Loper, Miss La Mesa 2018, is a 19-year-old Hospitality and Tourism Management major at San Diego State University. She hopes to one day be a Wish Coordinator for Make-A-Wish San Diego so that she can make dreams come true for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Kelli is also an adrenaline junkie and has been scuba diving, sky diving, and most recently bungee jumped of the Bridge to Nowhere. During her free time, Kelli loves taking her dog, Liberty, to dog beach. As a former Miss Teen La Mesa, Kelli is looking forward to serving the city of La Mesa again this year!

Laurene Vouaux, Miss Santee 2018, is an 18-year-old student at Grossmont Middle College High School. She loves animals and has a passion for fashion. In her free time, she enjoys reading poetry – and on occasion writing her own. She loves bringing a smile to people’s faces and lighting up the room with her own. In the future, Laurene would like to become an Orthopedic Surgeon.

For information on our 2018 titleholders or to request them for an event, please contact Sierra Billock, Pageant Director at 619-672-0688 or via email

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