ORLANDO — A local Branford girl placed in the National American Miss Florida Pageant this past weekend at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando.

Yazmin Hernandez competed alongside 77 girls for the National American Miss Junior Preteen Florida State Title for the opportunity to compete for the national title in California.

Yazmin, 7, placed first runner-up.

She is the daughter of David and Lupe Hernandez.

“An extraordinary achievement for the first time competing at NAM and only 7 years old in the 7-9 year old division,” said her mother Lupe Hernandez.

The categories of competition were interview, on stage introduction and gown.

Yazmin received the “Golden Ticket” to compete for the All American Miss title in Hollywood, California, in the National American Miss National Pageant. The pageant will be held the weekend of Thanksgiving.

Yazmin also holds the titles of Little Miss BHS 2018-2019 and reigning Tiny Miss Freedom USA 2017-2018.

Yazmin also placed in the optional competitions of Talent (fourth runner-up), Photogenic (second runner-up), Most Promising Model (first runner-up), Casual Wear Modeling (first runner-up) and Actress (second runner-up).

“I’m so proud and thankful to God, my family and friends,” Yazmin said. “I can’t wait to represent my town again.”

She started her own organization, Yazzy’s Cookies & Books a year ago. Since then she has been passionate about helping bring smiles to children through reading because it’s one of her favorite hobbies and loves to share her love for reading and learning.

“We are so proud of all her achievements in such a short time, including that of continuing to help and serve through her organization, Yazzy’s Cookies & Books,” Lupe said.

Lupe added that the amount of love and support that is poured into the girls throughout the whole weekend was unbelievable.

“It’s an experience to remember,” Lupe said. “The life-long skills and friends they gain is so worth it.”

Jessie R. Box is a reporter for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press. Her beats include general assignment, government and police. ​

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