Duke City native preps for Miss USA pageant - Albuquerque Journal

Duke City native preps for Miss USA pageant

Ashley Mora, center, is crowned Miss New Mexico USA. Mora will compete in Las Vegas, Nev., in Miss USA pageant on Sunday.

Ashley Mora has been first runner-up twice before.

Though she was crushed, experiencing those defeats has helped her in realizing to never give up.

bright spotAfter 10 years of participating in pageants, the Albuquerque native was crowned Miss New Mexico USA and is currently in Las Vegas, Nev., preparing for the Miss USA competition, which airs at 5 p.m. this Sunday.

“I’m getting there early to mentally prepare,” she says. “I’ve never been in a situation this big before. It’s going to be amazing.”

The 25-year-old was born and raised in the Duke City.

She went to Hope Christian School and, after graduation, she enrolled at University of New Mexico, where she was a cheerleader for two years.

While pursuing her education, Mora would incorporate the pageants into her hectic schedule.

“It’s kind of cool because I’ve been competing for so long and this was the first time in a while that someone brought back the title to Albuquerque,” she says. “This is my home and I can shine a light on it with a national audience.”

The last Albuquerque winner was Bianca Matamoros-Koonce in 2009.

Mora’s platform as Miss New Mexico is focused on promoting healthy bodies and healthy minds.

“I talk a lot about how your mind and mental game affects your life,” she says. “The mind is a powerful tool.”

Now, Mora is a licensed real estate agent, and fitness, hot yoga, spin and Barre instructor.

Her proudest accomplishment is her blog “Sparkling from the Inside Out,” which promotes healthy bodies and strong minds to over 40 different countries.

This platform allows her to be as open as possible.

“Usually when I’m resistant to post something, it’s when I get the most feedback,” she says. “It’s nice to know someone else is going through those feelings. It’s motivation for me to be as honest as I can with everybody.”

She is also a 10-year volunteer for Special Spaces of Albuquerque where she creates dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening illnesses.

She believes that such children should have a “special space” of their own.

“It’s important to give back to the community,” she says. “They’ve embraced me with everything that I do.”

Mora is also grateful to represent New Mexico at the Miss USA pageant.

“I have a sense of who I am and I trust in the work that I’ve done in the past 10 years,” she says. “Taking this to the next level has been my biggest mental preparation.”

We welcome suggestions for the daily Bright Spot. Send to newsroom@abqjournal.com.

 

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