GI student Samaniego to compete in Miss Nebraska Latina pageant

Jacqueline Samaniego

2018 must be the year of pageants for Doane University.


Jessica Shultis, a soon-to-be Master of Arts in Management graduate taking classes on the Lincoln campus, was crowned Miss Nebraska this summer.


Allison Baird ’20, an undergraduate student on Doane’s Crete campus, was first-runner up to Shultis.


Now Jacqueline Samaniego, a student at Doane’s Grand Island campus, is a finalist for Miss Nebraska Latina.


Jacqueline is a 20 year-old nontraditional student in Doane’s RN to BSN program. She graduated from Grand Island Senior High School in 2016, and after taking a couple years off school to focus on work, has decided to return to the classroom.


Jacqueline is a processing specialist at Principal Financial Group but became interested in nursing after seeing her dad struggle with Parkinson’s disease. He has had the disease for five years and she says the ability to help him in the future would be very meaningful.


Jacqueline’s Doane journey just began in October, as she is taking one course on campus and one online. Audrey Jensen, Grand Island campus and outreach director, was impressed with Jacqueline’s determination right away.


“She is driven, thoughtful, and engaging,” Jensen said. “She is a rare student for our Grand Island campus because the average age of our students is 35 and she is well under that. She is a focused individual who is highly successful at multi-tasking.”


Jacqueline manages work, school, and preparing for the Miss Nebraska Latina pageant, which is scheduled for January 11th in Omaha. She became involved in pageants at a young age when she won the Miss Cover Girl pageant in 2014 and appeared on the cover of their magazine.


She is one of six finalists for Miss Nebraska Latina, which is the preliminary to Miss U.S. Latina. These pageants offer personal and professional opportunities for young woman to showcase their culture, have a voice in politics, and to make a difference in the community.


“It’s not all about beauty,” Jacqueline said. “It’s a way to express your intelligence and your platforms, to have a voice for what you believe in.”


One of Jacqueline’s biggest passions is health and fitness, maintaining a healthy lifestyle. She says Doane students and faculty have been very supportive of her and she is very glad she chose to take classes at Doane.


“I think Doane is a great university,” she said. “Having night classes and online classes tailors to working adults. With Grand Island expanding, it’s great to have a Doane campus in the city.”


“The beauty of Doane GI is she will be able to reach out to her classmates who are already working in the field with their RN degree and ask about specific areas to look into,” Jensen said. “I am so excited to see where Jacqueline ends up.”