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Former Fallbrook resident to compete in Miss California USA Pageant

Christal Gaines-Emory

Writer

Isabel Amayrani Rhodes was born and raised in Fallbrook until she was in her early 20's when she had the opportunity to study abroad in Spain.

Rhodes studied psychology at Palomar College and Mira Costa College before transferring to California State University, San Marcos. Although she grew up in Fallbrook, Rhodes will be representing the city of San Marcos as Miss San Marcos in the Miss California USA Pageant.

This will be her first state pageant, and she said that she is excited to have the opportunity to compete.

"I'm very blessed to have my first pageant as part of such a well-known and amazing organization," said Rhodes. "I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie and love to do things outside of my comfort zone. I lacked confidence and figured participating in a pageant was probably the most effective way to break out of my shell."

All contestants must pick a platform to represent during the pageants; they address the platform and how it affects them. Rhodes chose a platform that aligns closely with her personal life, mental health awareness.

"My platform is mental health awareness because it has shaped such a huge part of who I am today. I am diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder, bipolar II, borderline personality disorder, ADHD, and bulimia," said Rhodes. "I am an advocate for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, will be attending the National Alliance for Mental Illness conference this month, and I'm in training to be a Crisis Text Counselor. Overall, I want to let others who struggle with mental illness know that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. I am here to support others and remind them that they are more than enough."

Along with her passion for mental health awareness, Rhodes is passionate about helping others. Her future career goals are to become a prosectulor working specifically with sex crimes, then work with the FBI in the legal department, and finish her career as a judge.

To make these dreams a reality, Rhodes has enrolled in law school.

"I was accepted into the New England Law in Boston, Massachusetts for the fall 2021 incoming class," she said. "I have also just finished up my employment at a litigation firm. Prior to COVID-19, I worked with my mentors at Fischer & Ritchey, a local San Marcos mother-daughter firm."

Competing in Miss California USA is another step for Rhodes on the way to becoming her best self. She said she has been inspired by the amount of growth she has seen in herself.

"The number one lesson I've learned is how to accept myself for who I am. I've grown to love myself and my insecurities," she said. "Pageants are important to build confidence, gain interview skills, meet like-minded women, and to demonstrate to the world what we believe in."

Rhodes looks forward to competing in the Miss California USA Pageant Sept. 10-13, and she is excited to meet all the strong women she will be competing with. Although she represents San Marcos, she hopes that her hometown of Fallbrook will support her along this journey.

 

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