GCU Junior Among 4 Finalists for Fiesta Bowl Queen
By Doug Carroll
Lindsay Fernandez, a junior in GCU’s College of Health Sciences whose goal is to become a cardiologist, has made the finals of the competition for Fiesta Bowl queen.
Fernandez, who transferred into the University this year from Glendale Community College, entered the contest at the last minute and is now among four finalists. The other finalists are from Arizona State University and the University of Arizona. It’s the first time a student from GCU has advanced to the finals.
Online voting for the queen at www.abc15.com begins at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 1, and ends at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4. Taped interviews with the four finalists will air at 9 a.m. Friday on the show “Sonoran Living” on Channel 15.
Fernandez’s father is a pastor and her mother is a missions coordinator. If you’re guessing she’s not your typical beauty-pageant contestant, you’re right.
“This is different from anything I’d ever do,” she says, acknowledging her surprise over making the finals.
A graduate of Sunrise Mountain High School, she has been on mission trips to Honduras and Mexico. She’s not afraid to roll up her sleeves and go to work.
“My story is a little bit different,” she says. “I throw myself into community service, and I want to share with others about that. I feel that serving others opens the heart and softens the soul.”
Fernandez applied just ahead of the contest deadline on Sept. 16. Her essay on community service earned her a call-back for a 10-minute interview along with 54 others.
Among those, 10 were selected for a mixer at the Fiesta Bowl Museum at Scottsdale Fashion Square. The four finalists were chosen at the conclusion of that event.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort. All four finalists will receive $2,500 scholarships, and the three runners-up will serve as the queen’s court.
The Fiesta Bowl Parade is on Dec. 31 and the game is on New Year’s Day.
Regardless of the outcome, Fernandez will spend the next year representing the Fiesta Bowl — and GCU.
“It will be awesome to give back to GCU in this way,” she says. “The staff (at the University) is so personable. People care.”
Although Fernandez says she was conscious of needing to make an impression in the interviews, she also was confident.
“I know myself pretty well,” she says. “When people interview you, they look for someone they can relate to. They want to feel you’re not self-absorbed.
“For the next year, I’ll get to tell the public, ‘I’m a pre-med major at Grand Canyon University.’”
Contact Doug Carroll at 602.639.8011 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.