West Windsor, N.J. – Jocelyn Vallejo of Hamilton is not your typical college student. On weekends, studying for her courses at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) goes hand in hand with appearances in local parades and special events as Miss Ecuador.
In August, Vallejo, a sophomore at MCCC, was selected for the honor by the Ecuadorian Civic Association of Mercer County (ACECOM), which holds a beauty pageant each summer. She was the association's first queen to be seen on television in Central and South America via Univision and Telemundo.
Vallejo, who graduated from Nottingham High School in 2013, was born and raised in Central New Jersey. Her father is a citizen of Ecuador, which has given her the opportunity to represent her nation of origin.
This is Vallejo’s second pageant title. Her first, with the Ecuadorian Soccer League of Mercer County, was totally unplanned. “The teams select a young woman to represent them,” she explains. A soccer player herself, Vallejo’s own game at the park had been unexpectedly canceled that day in April 2013 so she decided to watch one of the men’s games. “The guys asked me to compete and I figured why not.”
The then 17-year-old went home and quickly prepared. “The pageant was held right on the soccer field. I competed with 15 other girls. I was so surprised when they crowned me Miss Liga Ecuatoriana 2013,” Vallejo said.