by michelle tremblay | photo by Dawn at Nicoli Productions

Ava Aquino Shines On and Off the Stage

student_aquino2Ava Aquino is only in third grade but already she is a star. She was recently in her very first pageant competition – the Miss Jr. Pre-Teen San Diego pageant. When asked about preparing for the competition Ava recalled, “At first I was very nervous, but my mom took me to the training session so I could learn what to do. I had a very fun time learning how to act on stage.”

Donning her “big ruffled blue dress,” and with several hard days of training under her belt, Ava felt self-assured as she took the stage for the competition; her confidence paid off. “I got crowned Miss Jr. Pre-Teen San Diego, with a crown, a sash, and a big trophy!” exclaimed Ava, who thoroughly enjoyed her pageant experience.

So much so that she is currently preparing for the upcoming Miss Jr. Pre-Teen National competition. “I’m going to be going to a summer camp with one of my acting teachers to work on how to answer questions right on the spot,” described Ava. “So that means I have to think on my feet!” Although slightly nervous about the competition, Ava is mostly looking forward to it. “I’m excited about choosing my dresses and then when I get to Florida doing the pageant, and then I get to go to Harry Potter World and stay there a few days,” shared Ava.


Name: Ava Marie Aquino (9)
School: Coastal Academy
Grade: 3
Parents: Mark and Marie Aquino
Sibling: Emily Marie Aquino (4)
Favorite Place in 92081: The library


Aside from being a pageant superstar, Ava also has quite an artistic side. “My favorite subject in school is art because I like to learn about artists like Pablo Picasso and learn to draw like a different artist every two weeks,” said Ava. She also enjoys making clothes for her stuffed animals and dolls. “I make clothes by sewing which lets me use my creativity,” she shared. Her other hobbies include dancing, swimming, reading, and playing with her younger sister, Emily, who is four years old. “Emily is very silly and she just makes me laugh whenever I’m feeling sad,” described Ava. “She’s very artsy like me and we have many fun times together.”

When asked who serves as her inspiration, the confident nine-year-old replied, “I don’t know who inspires me, but I just know what I want to do and I just do it. My inspiration comes from my mind because I can believe in what I believe in, and I can think what I want to think. Simple as that.”