Women’s History Month: Miss Nuevo Laredo’s dedication to community service

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 8:32 AM CDT
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LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - KGNS kicked off its 2023 Women’s History Segment by introducing a young woman who has donned pageant titles in both Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas Mexico. Her commitment to using her platform to draw attention to community service is what makes her crown sparkle.

Alma Gonzalez, 21, is dedicating a huge portion of her youth to community service. Her interest in volunteering sparked around the same time her interest in the pageant world also started.When Gonzalez was 16 years old and a Laredo title holder she organized her first fundraiser for a non-kill animal shelter.

“I stood [at a street corner] for a week, the first day no one stopped, the second day my grandparents took me two big bags,” said Gonzalez about her first-ever pet-food drive.  “The third day [was] slow, and the fourth day [it was] slow again, and on the fifth day a group of jeeps made a donation.”

What many would consider a slow start became Gonzalez’s motivator. Her work with The Laredo Animal Protection Society garnered the attention of the Clorox company.         

The national company awarded Gonzalez a$15,000 grant which was used to renovate a portion of the shelter. Gonzalez described this as a turning point for her, this launched her dedication to community service.

“I knew I wanted to make a bigger impact not only in Laredo but in Texas, so I visited the Children’s Rehabilitation Institute Teleton USA (CRIT),” said Gonzalez. “Which is a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center in San Antonito. Since that moment I knew that I wanted to become a volunteer for the cause I fell in love with it, and I fell in love with the kid,” she added.

Gonzalez has worked with CRIT for the last four years. She has not only organized fundraisers but also volunteered during her summers at the center in San Antonio, Texas. Her efforts raised close to $100,000 for the organization.

Gonzalez was born in Nuevo Laredo and was raised in Laredo from the age of five.

With her roots deep on both sides of the border, her community service expanded into organizations in both countries.

“Being able to help two countries is heartwarming because it makes me who I am,” said Gonzalez.

With around 4,000 hours of community service under her belt Gonzalez’s work has not gone unnoticed.For three consecutive years, she’s been awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Gonzalez has achieved all this while being a full-time student and the current Miss Nuevo Laredo.With several crowns on display—it’s her work she hopes becomes her legacy.

“Your act of kindness can be small or big,” said Gonzalez. “Whether it’s giving donations or just being nice to each other can make an impact and change our world.”

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