2005-06-30 / Community
CHS student crowned Ms. Asia
By Stephanie Bertholdobertholdo@theacorn.com
As the recently crowned Ms. Asia USA, Chu’s summer schedule is filled with public appearances, duties and commitments that few teens will experience during the summer prior to their senior year at high school.
Chu’s first commitment was a visit to the Glendale City Council, where she met the mayor and council members. Before the meeting started, Chu greeted Glendale residents via the city’s cable channel. In mid-June, Chu made a guest appearance at Descanso Gardens in La CanadaFlintridge and was introduced at the Pasadena Symphony during the Music Under the Stars event.
Today, Chu will be an honored guest at the Brea Mall, where she will participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand opening of a cosmetics firm. This evening, she will present the area’s Junior Achievement awards.
On July 7, Chu will make a guest appearance on The Money Show in Santa Barbara. Later in the month, she will participate in a fundraiser for a children’s organization. Then there’s the beach clean-up day in Santa Monica and several other obligations still in the planning stages.
“The (engagements) don’t even seem like they’re a duty to me,” said Chu. “It’s really fun because I get to go out and meet all sorts of different people. It’s a whole new experience.”
Chu beat out 27 competitors in the Ms. Asia USA competition and she has the added distinction of being the youngest woman ever to earn the crown. She also garnered the title of Miss Popularity, which she said was earned by selling the most tickets and advertisements for the program and having tremendous support of family and friends.
Modesty aside, Chu is a charmer. Her modeling skills were developed at John Robert Powers, a modeling and acting school in Agoura Hills, but it was her natural charisma that enamored the contestants, judges and audience at the 17th annual pageant, conducted on April 23 at the Alex Theatre.
“When it was first runner up and me (left on the stage), I thought I had lost,” Chu said. “When they said contestant No. 19, I forgot that it was my number. I was just so happy and exhilarated.”
Chu’s mother, Shally, is equally ecstatic for her daughter. “I’m very proud of Jennifer. I’m extremely happy for her.”
Young women in the pageant represented many of the 50 Asian countries. Delegates traced their ancestry to Iraq, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Taiwan, India, Armenia, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Tonga, Fiji and others. Chu represented Korea.
Qualified delegates were required to be at least 25 percent Asian, between the ages of 17 and 28. They also had to possess talent and poise.
Chu fit the bill. She has studied the piano since she the age of 5. By 9 years old, she had performed at Pepperdine University. Between the ages of 13 and 15, Chu played concertos with the Pasadena Youth Orchestra.
At Calabasas High School, Chu is active in the Key Club and is the commissioner of publicity for the Associated Student Body.
In addition to being musically talented, Chu is artistic and takes a variety of art classes at school.
In the call for contestants, officials said the young women would “represent the community in this grand celebration of culture, beauty, talent and elegance.”
After Chu graduates from Calabasas High, she plans to attend UC Santa Barbara, where she will major in psychology.