Norma Aranda is excited about going to Cancun, Mexico later this month and will proudly represent Spring Hill and the state of Arkansas.

Norma Aranda is excited about going to Cancun, Mexico later this month and will proudly represent Spring Hill and the state of Arkansas. Aranda was crowned Miss Arkansas Latina in October in Little Rock, and will advance to the Miss Latin America pageant Aug. 18-24. “I am looking forward to competing in the Miss Latin America pageant,” Aranda said. “If I win, I will stay another week in Mexico and compete for Miss Latin US.” If Aranda wins the Miss Latin U.S., she will sign a modeling contract with O.R.S. Hair Care. She is the 19-year-old daughter of Javier and Maria Aranda, of Spring Hill, and is the granddaughter of Jose and Cruz Aranda, of Mexico, and Pedro and Josephina Castillo, of California. Aranda graduated from Spring Hill High School in 2012 and received a Leadership Scholarship from the school. She was the senior class president at Spring Hill, was a member of the cheerleading squad, was involved in community projects, such as the annual Christmas Eve Dinner, sponsored by Oasis of Hope, was active in FCCLA, FBLA, and was on the golf team. She is a member of Bethany Baptist Church in Spring Hill, also. “My major is Social Work, and I am involved in a sorority in development, she said. “That sorority is Sigma Alpha, which is not on campus at the present time, but will be in a short period of time.” Aranda wants to encourage kids to stay in school and reach their goals. According to a Southern Arkansas University press release, Aranda recently visited the Consulate of Mexico in Little Rock and brought six backpacks full of school supplies to give away to children in the consulate lobby. Employees at the consulate were happy to help Aranda have an impromptu game show with the kids to see which three boys and three girls were the best at answering questions to win the school supplies. “I have always liked to help people and have always been involved with community service,” Aranda said. Her passion for giving back and encouraging education led to her changing her major to social work after her freshman year at SAU in Magnolia. “I was inspired while watching the 2010 Academy Award Nominee documentary 'Which Way Home?' about the personal side of immigration through the eyes of children who face harrowing dangers as they endeavor to make it to the U. S. to reconnect with their families and get a good education,” she said. “I asked myself, 'Who helps these children and others who put their lives in danger to achieve their goals and better lives for themselves and their families?' “The light went off...or the light came on,” Aranda said. “I don't know how, but social work came to my mind and everything pieced together. This is where God wants me to be. This is what God made me for. This is why he made me the way I am.”