Mr. & Miss Hispanic OU
Each spring semester, the annual Mr. & Miss Hispanic OU Pageant crowns two campus representatives, with Christ Coronado and Jema Esparza receiving the honors in 2017.
The scholarship pageant, which is presented by the Hispanic American Student Association (HASA), recognizes the hard work, academic achievements, and dedication to the Latino community. In addition to performing talents and answering on-stage questions, contestants share cultural presentations with the audience.
After being crowned, the king and queen serve for one full academic year. Learn more about Coronado and Esparza below.
Mr. Hispanic OU – Christopher Coronado
Christopher Coronado is from the Southside of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Coming from a Latino family, they immigrated to the United States in search for better opportunities for their family and future generations. His father constantly reminded Coronado that education was the key to success, telling him to become better than him.
Growing up on the Southside as a Latino, Coronado faced many challenges, both economically and socially. His mother was diagnosed with breast cancer as a teenager, and this affected him drastically.
“It was difficult to not be affected by the challenges we faced, but with the constant support of those who believed that there was more to me, I overcame,” Coronado said.
Coronado graduated from Southeast High School and didn’t know what the next step was. “There was a point in my life where I didn’t know if I was going to college,” Coronado shared.
No one in his family had ever been to college, and he didn’t want to be a financial burden on his family. Thanks to programs like TRIO Upward Bound and OU alumni like Eli Velazquez, Coronado was able to find resources to make this dream of college possible.
Today, Coronado is studying Biology (Pre-Medicine) and is heavily involved in his community including the Latino Fraternity on campus Omega Delta Phi. His platform is Educational Empowerment, and he wishes to prepare and empower inner-city minority students to pursue higher education.
Miss Hispanic OU – Jema Esparza
Jema Esparza was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and is the daughter of Jose de Jesus Esparza and Ema Alvarado, who are from Zacatecas, Mexico. Esparza is 19 years old and is currently studying Human Relations, International Studies, and Nonprofit Organizational Studies.
Esparza’s platform is “Advocacy for First Generation Students.” Through this she is a representative and a resource to the first-generation community. At her university, she is involved with the President’s Leadership Class, the Hispanic American Student Association (HASA), LEAD Team, and the Homecoming Executive Committee. She participates as a small group leader for Camp Crimson and she works for the Office of Admissions and Recruitment as a bilingual tour guide, offering campus tours in English and Spanish. She also works at OU as a Teaching Assistant for a course titled First-Year Foundations: Academic Success, which is a class for freshman that is designed to help them succeed in their higher education careers.
She has studied abroad in Arezzo, Italy, and hopes to do so again as an undergrad. One of her most memorable accomplishments is bringing Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Incorporated, to the University of Oklahoma as a Founder of the Alpha Rho Colony. She enjoys volunteering for Fiestas de las Americas, the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank, the Day of the Dead Street Festival, City Rescue Mission, and various other causes.
Esparza’s plans for the future include working in higher education or for a social service agency. She also aspires to serve on boards of nonprofit organizations that specialize in multicultural advocacy or anti-human trafficking. In her free time, she enjoys exploring foreign foods, watching “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” and spending quality time with people from all walks of life.
“I chose OU because of the community we have on campus,” Esparza shared. “The first time I visited the University of Oklahoma, I was a junior in high school attending a leadership conference that was led entirely by OU students. I could not believe the support, encouragement, and love that each of the college students carried with them for the delegates attending the conference. Rather than being competitive in regard to the prestige of the university, the people here are intentional and compassionate; not because anyone is making them be, but because they genuinely want to be. This has remained true as I enter my second year as a student at the University of Oklahoma and every interaction I have with anyone on campus reminds me of what made me fall in love with OU.”