Why should the community support you for Miss Crowd Favorite?
Being Miss Crowd Favorite enables me to champion meaningful causes. By leveraging my platform, I can raise awareness and drive action on LGBTQ+ issues, inspiring others to join in creating a more educated and compassionate community. I have an influence that motivates others to explore their capabilities and push boundaries, unlocking new horizons.
Why did you join MAC? / What is your goal with MAC?
I joined MAC to make meaningful memories and forge bonds with inspiring women who I want to learn from. I like challenges and the person I become after new experiences.
Tell us about your community platform project.
My community platform project focuses on the Asian parents of LBGTQ+ children, educating them to help foster support and acceptance for their children. I want to show parents and their children that there is hope by sharing the personal experiences I’ve had with my own parents and bridging the gap in knowledge. I want to express that having questions or misunderstandings is simply a part of the process and completely okay and good. By sharing tools and resources we can prevent the fallout that may happen over the topic of being in the LGBTQ+ community. I hope the families can take away that even though there are differences between them, they can still build a strong and compassionate relationship.
What about your heritage makes you proud?
Filipinos are raised with a very strong sense of family and community that I've learned to let myself rely on and be loved by. It's a love that I'm proud to have and share.
What is your spirit animal?
Share about how you've built a better community.
I am involved in a support group for individuals with mental illnesses and since joining I've contributed by leading fun and engaging workshops in the basics of music to help bolster a sense of accomplishment and pride.
What three things would you bring with you to a remote island?
A knife, paracord, and a tarp.
What's a fun fact about you?
I direct plays and musicals!
What's your favorite quote?
"How badly do you want it? And what are you willing to do to get it?" - Riley Redgate "Noteworthy"
Kumasta! Hi y’all! My name is Jamie Lynn Cruz. I am from Virginia Beach, VA and I moved to Chicago in 2021, originally to pursue a degree in music, but have since changed my career path. I currently go to school part-time at the University of Cincinnati online for early childhood education. I am a Lead Toddler Teacher at a daycare in West Town. Working with toddlers gives me so much joy! There are hard days but just hearing my kids laugh or seeing them learn something new reminds me why I do what I do. As a Filipino and lesbian teacher, I always strive to create an inclusive and accepting environment for my team, the parents I work with, and my students. Outside of teaching I volunteer at a local college theatre as a director. It gives me a space to be creative in a different facet and build strong relationships while making art.
I strive to put love into everything I do. It’s important to me that I stay laser-focused on my goals but I can’t ignore what got me there. Growing up Filipino, there is a large emphasis placed on family. It is important to be there for your family and you can rely on them in times of need. When I realized I am a lesbian, I thought that would all go out the window. So I worked on building a family of my own. But when I came out to my family, I was met with love and support. I’m so grateful and fortunate to have “two” families that I call home. I am where I am because of the love that my parents and friends have given me and continue to give me. And as long as I have that love I will dedicate it to teaching others that they can have a strong sense of self, family, and community.
Through the Miss Asian Chicago pageant I hope to share that love with my fellow contestants and in turn make a successful community platform project.