Brenda Cadena, the newly crowned Miss Hispanic Utah, is the type of person who'll never have trouble landing a job in whatever career she choses, never have trouble making new friends, and never have trouble landing a date to the prom.
A striking woman of 19 with a warm smile and a singing voice that can go one-on-one with anyone in the Mountain West, Cadena was awarded a scholarship, a trophy and a chance to compete for Miss Utah 1989 for her efforts.And it did take effort.
"There was a talent competition, evening gown and bathing suit competition and then full interviews," she says.
Marceline Arrowchis of White Rocks was the first runner-up. Her talent was a contemporary vocal selection.
Antionette Martinez did a classical Spanish ballet and placed as second-runnerup.
Cadena sang a bluesy rendition of "Since I Fell for You" that wowed the judges. ("I like ballads and blues," she says.) Her range and style made her a hands down winner in the talent competition.
Originally from Chicago, she moved here with her family several years ago. She is the daughter of Clemente and Rosantina Cadena.
Cadena is the seventh Miss Hispanic Utah and will represent Utah's 83,000 Hispanic people in the community during the coming year. And she has quite a legacy to live up to. Of the seven, four have already graduated with university degrees and one is still in college. Cadena plans to get a bachelor's degree in journalism.
"I'd like to get into broadcasting and help raise the public's awareness of minorities, especially the Hispanic community," she says. "I think it would be a good chance to be an example for Hispanic youth as well."
That example seems to be already having an effect. Her sister, age 13, is already talking about becoming a Miss Hispanic Utah herself.