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2019 Mr. and Miss Hispanic OU

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Oscar Carreon and Rosalinda Espinosa

Meet the 2019 Mr. and Miss Hispanic OU

Oscar Carreon

His whole life, Oscar Carreon has wanted to help people in either small or big ways. This led him to become a health and exercise science, pre-physical therapy major at the University of Oklahoma. It also led him to step outside his comfort zone and compete in the Mr. and Miss Hispanic OU Pageant.

“One of my good role models, Chris Coronado, invited me out when he competed in the pageant,” Carreon recalled. “I came with a few friends of mine and I thought to myself, ‘I would never have the guts in me do to all of the different things he has to do on stage.’ I just didn’t picture myself. But once I saw all the changes Chris did within his community and the people around him, I thought, ‘Wow, that’s a good change.’ Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to be a change, I wanted to impact somebody’s life, whether just an individual or a whole community.”

Carreon’s platform is Community4U, which focuses on the four pillars of community service, civic engagement, economic growth, and mental health awareness.

“I want to focus on those four pillars to make sure the new generation has what it takes so they can really impact the world,” Carreon explained.

The junior from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is also currently active in the Hispanic American Student Association (HASA), Omega Delta Phi and TREE Conference, and the Health and Exercise Science Student Association. He said that HASA has been an important community to him at OU since it represented who he is and his culture after coming from a high school that was a majority Hispanic population.

“If you find the right community that best fits you, you know you’re not alone because everyone around you is the same way,” Carreon said. “All you’ve got to do is help each other out. They lean on you, you lean on them, and just build yourself from there.”

Oscar Carreon and Rosalinda Espinosa
Oscar Carreon and Rosalinda Espinosa

Rosalinda Espinosa

Recognizing a need to improve the focus on STEM in Hispanic communities, especially among Latina women, Rosalinda Espinosa made this her platform as Miss Hispanic OU.

So far during her reign, Espinosa has partnered with ACTNow, a program that pairs students from high schools in South Oklahoma City with tutors who help them prepare for the ACT. In late September, they held a college discussion panel. Espinosa has also scheduled days throughout the semester to meet with Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Junior Chapters across OKC to talk about STEM jobs and what students can do with a degree in one of the fields.

Espinosa, an industrial systems engineering senior, is passionate about mentoring and hopes to create a network where students feel like they can reach out and ask her about STEM careers or any questions about college or being a first-generation student.

“If I’m able to impact just a few lives, I feel like that will be a success,” Espinosa said.

After receiving a scholarship from a past Mr. Hispanic OU, Espinosa attended the pageant in 2016. She has gone to the pageant every year since and always thought it would be an event she would enjoy because she is not afraid of the stage and likes to express her culture. She just never applied but finally did so this last year when she realized it was her last chance to compete.

“It was super exciting watching all these cultural aspects come together on stage and especially since my vision of college was just what I saw on TV and it wasn’t very diverse,” Espinosa explained. “Seeing all these college students come together for this event was really exciting, and I absolutely loved it.”

A first-generation, DACAmented student from Oklahoma City, Espinoza said she made valuable connections with resources at OU while in high school that in turn prepared her for her time on campus.

“Having been able to visit with the different offices when I was a high school senior, I was able to develop a little family of resources here at OU,” Espniosa said. “They were the ones that showed me how to start developing my resume, how to start focusing on academics, and how to succeed in college so I could ensure to have a career at the end.”

Because of these resources and support systems, Espinosa said she was able to secure summer internships at Goldman Sachs as an operations analyst in Utah and as a manufacturing engineering at Rockwell Automation in Wisconsin. Those internships helped her realized she wants to be an engineering consultant following graduation, preferably in or close to Oklahoma.  

One of her goals is to be involved across campus, not just in the engineering and Hispanic communities. Some of this involvement includes President’s Leadership Class, Latinos Without Borders, mentoring at High School Girls Day event and Girls Learning Applied Math and Science Program, Engineers Serving Others, Engineers Club, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the Jerry Holmes Leadership Program, and as the service officer and fundraising chair for Kappa Delta Chi.

“I think it’s really great to be around other people and get the diversity of thought, get different perspectives from different people,” Espinosa shared.