California State Scholarship Competition

This week-long competition is a dynamic educational program which provides scholarships in addition to leadership training. Participants gain a greater insight and understanding of the true meaning of community service and the value of serving others. The California State Scholarship Competition is open to ages 17-24.


What is the California State Scholarship Competition?
The California State Scholarship Competition is a prestigious statewide youth program sponsored by Youth Focus Inc. in search of an outstanding young man and woman to serve as public relations specialists and youth ambassadors representing Youth Focus Inc. and the state of California as:

Miss California State
California State Ambassador

Miss California State “California State’s Young Woman of Achievement” shares an exciting experience with the California State Ambassador “California State’s Young Man of Achievement” as they begin a busy and active year of appearances and engagements.

As youth ambassadors, they have the opportunity to meet and interact with civic leaders and a myriad of volunteers who serve their communities with diligence and dedication.

The majority of their responsibilities will include representing Youth Focus Inc. as Goodwill Ambassadors and spokespersons at community functions to bring about a better understanding of the role of the Youth Focus Inc. in the community.

The Cal State Experience
The California State Scholarship Competition consists of five days of activities focused on leadership and personal development. The program is both interactive and experiential in nature; thus candidates participate in exciting activities, which enhance their leadership, public speaking and interpersonal skills. Candidates emerge from the Cal State program with an increased sense of self-esteem as well as the ability and desire to make positive steps in their personal development. The Cal State experience provides for an in-depth training experience, a chance to develop team building skills and an opportunity to set goals, to make lasting friendships and to grow both as an individual and as a team.
Purpose and Intent
It is the goal of Youth Focus Inc., through the conduct of the Cal State program, to provide positive experiences where California youth may have an opportunity:

  • To nurture, cultivate and develop leadership skills and a better understanding of community service and commitment to others;
  • To be recognized by the community for participating in a respected competitive activity conducted without bias and under the highest standards of excellence;
  • To gain greater self-confidence and a better understanding of themselves through self-competition;
  • To add to their life experience the kinds of activities that will help them in becoming leaders and contributing participants in their schools and communities;
  • To be motivated to continue their educational pursuits that will provide for greater self-improvement and expanded character development in both their personal and professional endeavors;
  • To be recognized for the meritorious contribution made by young people today relative to their role in community service.
Basic Rules for Entry
The California State Scholarship Competition for the title of Miss California State/California State Ambassador is open to young women and men from across the State of California either representing their community at large (no preliminary competition or program participation is required) or as youth who represent any position of leadership (e.g. service clubs, youth organizations, youth ambassadors of local fairs). All candidates must meet the following basic rules for entry:

  1. Candidate must be a resident of the State of California for a minimum of one year, or presently be a registered student in an institution of higher education in California.
  2. Candidate must be between the ages of 17 and 24 as of Tuesday, July 17, 2018.
  3. Candidate must not have been involved in, ever convicted of, or pleaded guilty to any crimes including felonies and/or misdemeanors (exclusive of traffic violations).
  4. Candidate must be in good health.
  5. Candidate must be single, never have been married, nor had a marriage annulled nor may candidate be living with a partner in lieu of legal marriage at the time of application to the Cal State program or during their year of service as Miss California State/California State Ambassador.
  6. Candidate must register on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 at the Ramada Silicon Valley, 1217 Wildwood Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94089. Candidate must stay in the official housing provided for State Representatives July 17-22, 2018 checking out at 12 noon on Sunday, July 22, 2018.
  7. Candidate must participate in all Competition activities July 17-22, 2018, and stay through the conclusion of the Scholarship Luncheon on July 22, 2018, to qualify for any or all prizes, scholarships and/or awards.
Fees and Registration Deadline
  1. All required applications forms, transcripts, music (if applicable), candidate portrait, agreement and medical release must be uploaded/submitted online at: by: DEADLINE FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2018
  2. Candidate portrait must be print quality resolution (300 dpi) and should be taken on a neutral background.
  3. The entry/sponsor fee of $650 is non-refundable and must be paid online or postmarked by FRIDAY, June 29, 2018. Mail to:

ATTN: Entrant’s Director
Youth Focus Inc.
3031 Tisch Way
110 Plaza West
San Jose, CA 95128

How to Secure Your Sponsorship Fee
Our representatives in the past have used a number of creative ways to fund their entry/sponsor fee:

  • The most common method is to ask a local business to participate as a sponsor
  • Often service or civic clubs will sponsor you if you make a presentation to them
  • Some candidates set a goal of asking ten businesses for $65.00 each
  • Family members often are interested in supporting our candidates
  • They have held car washes, bake sales, and other fundraisers

Your sponsors can support you by making a contribution online at:

You may also share the link above in emails and social media posts to ask your family, friends and community members to support you.

You also may download the Cal State Sponsor Letter and Form to share with individuals and businesses you would like to ask for sponsorship. You might also wish to attach your own letter explaining to your sponsors why you would like to participate in the California State Scholarship Competition.

2018 Jessie Brandenburg Memorial Scholarships

In keeping with the philosophies of Youth Focus Inc. to motivate youth accomplishment and to inspire personal achievement, the scholarship awards program offers more than $15,000 in scholarships across three age levels. Every candidate receives a scholarship award.

$5,000 – California State Ambassador
$1,000 – First Alternate
$650 – Second Alternate
$350 – Third Alternate
$250 – Fourth Alternate
$100 – State Finalists

$5,000 – Miss California State
$1,000 – First Alternate
$650 – Second Alternate
$350 – Third Alternate
$200 – Fourth Alternate
$100 – State Finalists

Special Awards
Most Inspirational Award – The Ralph W. Mayes Memorial Award (Trophy Award)
Talent Award Of Excellence – Olgalydia Soria Urbano Talent Award (Trophy Award)

Joe Escobar “Community Spirit” Award
In recognition of the invaluable contribution made by Joe Escobar and his family through their generous support of numerous community programs to enhance the quality of life for others, the state representative receiving the highest score in community service will receive the prestigious Joe Escobar “community spirit” award.


Scholarships are awarded in accordance with the rules and regulations of the scholarship awards program as administered by Youth Focus Inc., and the terms and conditions relating thereto.

Areas of Competition
  • 20%…..Community Service
  • 20%…..Personality Interview
  • 20%…..Community Advocacy Speech
  • 20%…..Extemporaneous Question
  • 20%…..Stage Arts/Speech Presentation
  • Academic Achievement (optional)

Judging of the foregoing categories is subject to and governed by the established policies and procedures of the California State Scholarship Competition. Within these guidelines, judging is solely at the discretion of the judges selected by the California State Scholarship Competition and Youth Focus Inc., and the decision of the judges is final in all cases.



a. Community Service Application (10%)

In this area of competition, the judges review the candidate’s Community Service Application, which includes information regarding Community Service performed. The judges weigh and evaluate the contribution made by the candidate in serving and assisting the community in which he or she lives. Great consideration is given as to what contribution has been made by the candidate in accepting social responsibility and commitment in developing a better community in which to live.

b. Community Service Presentation (10%)

In this component of the Community Service competition, the candidate will make a 3 to 5-minute presentation followed by a 5-minute question-answer session for a panel of judges. The presentation will provide details about a community service project the candidate would like to continue or implement during their year of service as a youth ambassador. The candidate may use notes or note cards, and may also provide handouts and/or use a visual display/poster board that is less than 36 inches high and 48 inches wide or is displayed in a digital format. During the presentation, the judges will weigh the potential contribution the candidate wishes to make by serving their community and evaluate their ability and desire to serve as a leader committed to improving their community. Overall presentation relative to their potential as a community ambassador or ambassadress and public relations specialist is also evaluated.


In this phase of competition, the judges meet with each of the representatives in a 15-minute formal interview. During this time, the judges have the opportunity to evaluate the representative’s performance in response to a variety of questions. The representative’s knowledge, perception, and mental alertness are evaluated. Articulation and self-expression are carefully reviewed. This area of competition provides an opportunity for the judges to focus upon the representative’s sense of values, attitudes, future goals and aspirations, and personality. Poise relative to the representative’s potential to assume a position as a public relations specialist will also be considered.


In the Community Advocacy Speech, the candidate presents an on-stage commentary up to 60 seconds describing a community advocacy program he or she would embrace during their year of service as a youth ambassador and how he or she would propose to successfully carry out this program during their term of office. During the presentation, the judges evaluate the candidate’s articulation, manner of presentation, grammar, confidence, mental alertness and competence relative to the subject matter. Overall appearance relative to their potential as a community ambassador or ambassadress and public relations specialist is again evaluated. Time limit: 60 seconds. A 5-second grace period is allowed. A 50% penalty will be imposed on the final score for this phase upon exceeding the time limit.


In the Extemporaneous Question competition, the representative is asked up to two (2) questions on stage relating to areas of interest from their official application. This competition provides the judges the opportunity to evaluate the representative’s ability to speak extemporaneously before a group and the effectiveness of their communication skills. Consideration is given to the creativity and content of the response with regard to the pressures and demands of spontaneity in the public forum. Overall effectiveness relative to the representative’s potential as a community ambassador or ambassadress and public relations specialist is also evaluated. There is no time limit.


Candidates have the choice in this phase of competition of presenting either a speech presentation or a per-forming arts skill, which has been mastered through dedicated study. Both types of presentations will be judged equally. Time limit: Not less than 60 seconds or more than 3 minutes in length. A 15-second grace period is allowed. A 50% penalty will be imposed on the final score for this phase upon exceeding the time limit.

a. Criteria for Speech Presentations

The purpose of the speech presentation is to evaluate each candidate’s skills and qualities as a public relations specialist who will be addressing community groups in public speaking activities. The candidate is to prepare a speech on one of the following topics: The applicable fair, festival, city, county or youth organization/program he or she represents; the career he or she wishes to pursue; a community service project(s) he or she has been involved with; a leadership project or citizenship activity; another subject as approved by the Entrants Director of the competition. The candidate is judged on language, grammar, delivery, power of expression, dynamics and general effectiveness. Candidates are allowed to use note cards for the delivery of the speech.

b. Criteria for Performing Arts Presentations

In selecting a Performing Arts Presentation, the candidate displays an on-stage, solo, live talent or skill mastered through dedicated study. In this phase of competition, the judges consider degree of difficulty and technical ability. Types of presentations include, but are not limited to: dancing, vocal performance (singing), instrumental performance (piano, guitar, flute, etc.) dramatic or comedic reading, art demonstration/presentation, gymnastics or cheer routine, etc.


Candidates will have the opportunity to submit their transcripts if they are interested in being considered for the Academic Achievement scholarship. The candidate’s GPA and academic courses are closely examined and evaluated by a panel of academic judges.

Wardrobe Guidelines

Cal State week is an opportunity for you to dress for success! Please follow these guidelines to help you plan what to wear. Please, don’t wear jeans or flip flops during rehearsal/workshops or in the theater, and be sure that your clothes fit well.

You are not expected to purchase expensive clothing to participate in the competition. We would be happy to help you find appropriate, affordable outfits. There are also opportunities to borrow items from the Youth Focus closet. Please feel free to give us a call or send an email if you have any questions about the wardrobe requirements, or finding/borrowing an outfit. We would be very happy to help you!


  Rehearsal Clothes
  • Casual, lightweight clothing
  • Comfortable shoes
  • No jeans or flip-flops
  • Rehearsal/workshops
  • Free time
  Business Suit(s)
  • Suit or dress (ladies)
  • Suit with jacket and tie (gentlemen)
  • Appropriate for a professional interview
  • Orientation
  • Fellowship
  • Tribute Dinner
  • Scholarship Luncheon
  • Personality Interview
  • Knee length party-dress (ladies)
  • Slacks and collared dress shirt (gentlemen)
  • Production Number
  • Community Advocacy Speech
  Stage Arts Costume
  • Appropriate costume for your stage arts or speech presentation
  • Stage Arts
  • Floor length dress (ladies)
  • Suit with jacket and tie or tuxedo (gentlemen)
  • Extemporaneous Question
  • Competition Awards



Apply Now!


Questions? Call, text or email:

Kristina Stamper
State Entrants Director
(209) 612-6930