Sweet Corn Queen Pageant postponed until further notice

Four contestants in this year’s Sweet Corn Festival Queen Pageant, left to right, are Victoria Arteaga, Bianca Espinoza, Theran Schmitt and Anna Bokus. (Photo courtesy of Mendota Chamber of Commerce)

MENDOTA – Due to the current rise in positive COVID-19 cases in Mendota, this year’s Sweet Corn Festival Queen Pageant has been postponed. It will hopefully be held at a later date.
Now let’s introduce four more pageant hopefuls.

Victoria Arteaga will represent the Mendota Museum and Historical Society in this year’s pageant. She is the daughter of Rita Arteaga of Mendota. She has brown eyes and brown hair and stands 5-3.

A 2020 graduate of Mendota High School, Arteaga was a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society. She was awarded the President’s Education Award, Mendota Area Business and Professional Women’s Scholarship, Illinois Valley Hispanic Partnership Council Scholarship, Financial Plus Credit Union Scholarship, and the Dr. Musick Scholarship.

Arteaga will be attending Illinois Valley Community College in the fall and will be seeking an Associates in Applied Science and specializing in nursing.

This summer you will find her waitressing at El Zarape and also working and at Home Depot as a cashier. She plans to donate blood during the American Red Cross Blood Drive and to help the community persevere during the pandemic.

Arteaga’s hobbies include cooking, baking, and cosmetology.  She also likes spending time with friends and family, and volunteering.

Her plans for the future include earning her Associates in Applied Science and pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree from Northern Illinois University. Arteaga would like to work in a children’s hospital and eventually earn her Master’s Degree to become pediatric nurse practitioner.

The Mendota Area YMCA has selected Bianca Espinoza as its queen candidate. She is the daughter of Rene and Jennie Espinoza of Mendota. She is 5-11 and has brown hair and brown eyes.

Espinoza is a 2020 graduate of Mendota High School where she played volleyball and basketball four years and soccer for three years. She was a member of Spanish Club for four years and also a member of the Spanish National Honor Society. She was also an honor roll student all four years and was awarded the All-Conference Academic Athlete.

Espinoza has been attending Illinois Valley Community College where received her CNA license. She also earned dual credits her senior year by taking seven classes.  She plans to go to St. Francis University in Joliet to pursue a degree as a psychiatric nurse and a minor in psychology.

This summer you will find Espinoza working as a resident associate at Stonecroft Village. She is also spending time with family and friends. She enjoys taking her dog on walks, listening to music, drawing and painting.

Her plans for the future include receiving her Master’s Degree and becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner.

The Mendota Elks Lodge #1212 has chosen Theran Schmitt to represent it in this year’s pageant.  She is the daughter of Erik and Veronica Schmitt of Mendota. She has dark brown hair and brown eyes and stands 5-0.

A 2020 graduate of LaSalle-Peru High School, Schmitt also attended MHS from 2016-2019 where she was a member of the volleyball and bowling teams.  She was also a cheerleader, served on Student Council and was a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society.  While attending L-P, Schmitt was on the bowling team. She was also in the National Honor Society, a Harbor Homeroom Leader and Challenge Day Student Leader.

Schmitt plans on attending Illinois Valley Community College and then transferring to Northern Illinois University. She will pursue a degree in health science specializing in physical therapy.

This summer you will find Schmitt working at Woodhaven Lakes serving ice cream and working the register. She is also plans on taking some summer college course.

In her free time, she enjoys hiking, yoga, and learning Spanish. She also loves watching movies, and learning about and meeting new people.

Schmitt’s plans for the future are earning her Bachelor’s in Health Science then applying for NIU’s DPT program and pursuing a career as a physical therapist.

Anna Bokus will be representing the JFK Knights of Columbus Council #2090. She is the daughter of Michael and Kaela Bokus of Mendota. She stands 5-7 and has blonde hair and blue eyes.

Bokus is a 2020 graduate of Mendota High School where she was a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society Vice-President and Math Team. She was an honor student for all eight semesters and competed in Academic Challenge and Scholastic Bowl.  She was also chosen as an Illinois State Scholar. Bokus played on the volleyball, basketball and softball teams for four years. She received All-Conference honors in all three sports. She also served on Student Council and was Senior Class President.

She plans to attend Loyola University-Chicago College seeking her Bachelor’s Degree, specializing in biology or pre-med.

This summer you will find her working at Beck’s Ice Cream waiting on customers and making ice cream. She is also giving swimming lessons. Bokus looks forward to spending time with her family and friends before heading off to college this fall.

She enjoys spending time swimming, reading, being with her friends, and traveling. She also likes meeting new people. Bokus added that she loves to volunteer, help others and participate in the St. Jude Run every year.

She plans to graduate from Loyola University with a degree in biology, then go on to medical school to become a pediatric oncologist and work at St. Jude’s.

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