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Ceres woman in Trump pageant
A lifelong Ceres resident, 19-year-old Michelle Hurst is in college and ready for a challenge. She has found one as a fresh entry into Donald Trump's Miss California USA Pageant 2013.

"I'm excited and nervous because I have never done anything like this but it's to push my limits and make me a stronger person and woman," said Hurst. "When I was younger I used to struggle with anxiety. It (pageant) is making me come of out of my shell."

A college sophomore, Hurst attends California State University, Stanislaus, where she is a psychology major and member of Phi Sigma Sigma. Others in her sorority suggested that she go for the pageant so she applied. Michelle attended an interview session held in Concord and her answers to questions apparently pleased a panel of judges. Interview questions included why she wanted to be in the pageant and how it would benefit her. Based on her answers she was named Miss Stanislaus County and directed to proceed to the big state pageant in Pasadena to be held in early January. The weekend pageant includes swimsuit and evening gown competition and another interview.

"I am happy to represent both Stanislaus County and the city of Ceres, and to show that someone from a smaller town can achieve their goals and follow their dreams, and be recognized for their hard work."

Many of the approximately 150 girls who will be in the pageant have had no pageant experience before, said Michelle, a 2011 Johansen High School graduate.

She is the daughter of Steven Hurst (principal of Bret Harte Elementary School in Modesto) and Brenda Hurst.

While the pageant has her excited, Michelle is looking at rewarding life prospects years down the road. She hopes to become a counselor of children, possibly working with autistic children.

Women in the pageant are asked to raise funds for charity and Michelle has selected the National Kidney Foundation as her charity. She is busy soliciting donations from sponsors. Anyone may help her by going to and searching for her name.