Empowering Young Women: A Recap of the Miss Deer Park

Seven young ladies competed for the title of Miss Deer Park and $14,200 in scholarships. Elizabeth Fausti took the crown and $6,600 in scholarships, but all the contestants deserve recognition for their impressive performances.

Now that the Miss Deer Park 2023 event has concluded, we would love to honor all of the contestants and their achievements by showcasing all the girls in addition to a photo gallery of the event. So please help us congratulate each one of these extraordinary young ladies.

#1 Malia Valenzuela is the daughter of Rich and Sara Valenzuela. 

Malia is a talented athlete who believes that her greatness shines through when she is playing sports. Looking back ten years ago, she would tell her younger self that no matter what happens, she will be able to get through it.

Having grown as a person through her participation in the Miss Deer Park Program, Malia feels the program has given her numerous opportunities to develop herself. She has learned to move past uncomfortable situations like being in front of a crowd, and this has helped her open up as a person. She is also involved in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and enjoys playing softball.

Although standing up on stage is very scary for Malia, she understands that it is something that she needs to work on. She encourages herself to take every opportunity that life gives her because she knows that she will never regret it and never knows what will happen.

Malia’s talent for the night was roping, but she also enjoys painting and playing softball. Her favorite TV show is “The Ranch,” and she has dreams of becoming a large animal veterinarian. To achieve her goals, she plans to attend Northwest College in Wyoming.

#2 Brianna Crist is the daughter of Leslie Tillman-Crist.

Brianna believes that she shows her greatness by being herself. Looking back ten years ago, she would tell her younger self to always believe in herself, even when times get tough, or she feels like she’s on top of the world.

She enjoys being part of the Deer Park High School Star Cheer Team. Brianna thinks it is the best sport in the world, and has helped her build confidence. She is amazed by her cheer Coach Kimberly, who is proud of her, even when she’s not on her game or doesn’t feel her best. Coach Kimberly has helped Brianna believe in herself and what she’s capable of doing.

Brianna would tell her younger self that she will have friends she will stick with and some that she won’t. The friends that leave help her understand who she wants to be and what she needs to work on. Friends also help her figure out who she wants to be in the future.

Brianna’s talent for the night was singing “Once Upon a December.” She enjoys being part of cheer, FFA, singing, cars, and being outside. Her favorite TV show is “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” Brianna is determined to become a math teacher, although she has not decided where to attend after graduating from high school. 

#3 Elayna Shupe is the daughter of Brent and Jennifer Shupe.

Elayna finds her greatness while dancing and expressing herself through movement. If she could go back in time ten years, she would advise herself to become her own friend and love herself by understanding, educating, and encouraging herself to be the best version of herself. She also emphasized the importance of expressing love and appreciation to loved ones because life is unpredictable. Elayna also encouraged herself to appreciate even the little things like toilet paper and to find motivation in times of challenges, such as homeschooling, by being determined, self-disciplined, and learning from experiences. She believes we can all overcome difficult times by being kind and gentle with those around us.

Showcasing her talent Elayna performed an Irish dance to the song “The Greatest Show.” In addition to dancing, she enjoys cheerleading, playing tennis, practicing ballet, and continuing her Irish dance training. Her favorite song is “Enchanted” by Taylor Swift, and her favorite show is “Golden Girls.” Elayna’s aspirations include becoming a real estate broker, and she plans on attending Whitworth University in Spokane to pursue her career.

#4 Carly Shines was born to her mother, Nicole Smith. 

Carly was one of the two winners of the Miss Deer Park Princess award with a $3,400 scholarship. She is guided by her values of gratitude, kindness, and respect.  She would advise her younger self to be grateful for everyone and everything in her life, and to treat others with respect and kindness if she wants to receive the same in return. Carly would remind her younger self not to worry about what others think of her, as she is beautiful inside and out. She would encourage her younger self to focus on her goals and aspirations. Also to spend time with her family, as they mean everything to her.

For the talent portion of the Deer Park Program, Carly performed a dance from India while wearing traditional attire. Carly also enjoys playing volleyball and softball and is a baker. Her favorite song is “Open Mind,” and her favorite show is “Outer Banks.” Carly has a passion for teaching that her eighth-grade teacher inspired. She plans to attend Eastern Washington University in Cheney to pursue this career.

#5 Elizabeth Fausti is the daughter of Joe and Tami Fausti. 

Elizabeth is the new Miss Deer Park, the leading representative of our fair city, and was awarded $6,600 in scholarships from the program. She is a young woman who embodies the spirit of community service and engagement. Elizabeth said she is at her best when helping others in her community. If she could go back in time and talk to her younger self, Elizabeth would advise herself to keep her eyes on the horizon but remember to enjoy the scenery along the way. She believes that life is about the destination and the journey. She would also remind herself to prioritize her decisions rather than being at every single event. Talking to her parents is always the best option for advice because they have already traveled that path. Finally, she would encourage herself to know that she deserves everything she works for and that only she can create the best version of herself.

For the Miss Deer Park program, Elizabeth sang “Dads and Daughters” by MaRynn Taylor, which she dedicated to her dad. She is a member of 4H, FFA, and Girl Scouts and is on the honor roll. Her favorite song is “The Eye Color Ballad,” and her favorite show is “Sherlock.” Elizabeth was inspired by the book “Chain of Gold” by Cassandra Clare, which taught her that even during the toughest times, with the support of family and friends, one can get through anything. Interested in a business career, she plans on attending Washington State University to pursue her aspirations. Elizabeth Fausti is a remarkable young woman on her way to achieving her dreams.

#6 Mackenzie Hayes is the daughter of Amanda Jones.

Mackenzie won one of the Miss Deer Park Princess awards and two other scholarships from the program worth $4,200. Mackenzie’s greatness lies in her ability to inspire others to be kind and compassionate towards one another.

If she could go back ten years, Mackenzie would advise her younger self that people coming and going from her life are not based on her. She would also remind herself that she bears a lot of responsibility but would become stronger because of it. Mackenzie would also write about her imperfect but supportive family, always encouraging her to follow her dreams and learn from the challenges she faces.

During the Miss Deer Park Princess competition, Mackenzie showcased her talent by singing “Touch the Sky” from the Pixar movie “Brave.” She is also an accomplished softball player and a member of the Civil Air Patrol. Mackenzie’s favorite song is “Not Goodbye,” and her favorite show is “CSI.”

Mackenzie has her sights set on joining the United States Air Force and becoming a Special Operations Weather Technician. She plans to attend the United States Air Force Academy to achieve her dreams. Aside from her ambitious goals, Mackenzie also values the importance of friendship and encourages everyone to be true to themselves, reminding them that in the darkness, there is always a need for light.

#7 Shelby Dyer is the daughter of Tim and Jennifer Dyer. 

Shelby shows her greatness when she is being creative. If she could speak to her younger self, Shelby would emphasize that the future is not set in stone and that it’s okay to experience hardship while pursuing her goals. Additionally, she would remind her younger self of her inherent beauty and worth. 

Shelby’s creative spirit shines through in her talent for singing, as evidenced by her performance of the theme song “Everything Stays” from the television show “Adventure Time.” She said that it reminded her of her mom in the garden. She is involved in Vacation Bible School (VBS) during the summer and believes in giving back to her community and helping others. 

 An adamant coffee drinker Shelby also enjoys bike riding in her free time. Her favorite song is “American Pie” by Don McLean, and her favorite show is “Gilmore Girls.” She is also a devoted animal lover and has her Instagram account dedicated to her dog, Bella. She started the account as a way to spread happiness after experiencing the loss of a previous beloved dog Gizmo. Bella has become a source of joy in Shelby’s life, and she loves sharing photos of the dog growing up on social media. 

While watching her mom get her hair done, Shelby saw how happy this change made her mom feel. That was when Shelby realized she wanted to help people improve themselves, deciding then that her future was in cosmetology and assisting people to be their happiest. She plans to attend school for cosmetology after graduating from high school.

Celebrating the Success of Young Ladies
All seven young ladies worked hard, and even if only three girls walked out with scholarships, they all learned and grew as individuals, which was clear to see during the event.  At the Deer Park Gazette, we want to congratulate Malia Valenzuela, Brianna Crist, Elayna Shupe, Carly Shines, Elizabeth Fausti, Mackenzie Hayes, and Shelby Dyer for a job well done. This article highlights the achievements and aspirations of these seven contestants because they all deserve an extra round of applause. They all have unique talents, passions, and beliefs that have guided their journey to become successful young women. The new Miss Deer Park and Princesses will be officially transitioned from last year’s winners during Settlers Day in July.

Volunteering with the Deer Park Scholarship Association
If you would like to be part of the Miss Deer Park Scholarship Association, the upcoming  meetings will be held on July 10th and October 9th, at 6pm at the Pizza Factory. They will provide an opportunity for members to hear from the association about what they are focusing on and how they are participating in local events.

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