By Fran Lyons
Jiselle Diaz is her name.
She is 17 years old and has already made herself known locally through her musical talent, community service and vision for the world to become a kinder place to live. She has her sights set on making this vision a reality.
It all began in Maricopa, said Diaz, a Rancho El Dorado resident.
“I have to credit my hometown; it’s where my music career began,” she said. “The many community performances I have done in my town have shaped me and given me the experience I have today.”
Her first performance, at age 9, was singing the National Anthem for a Veterans Day event at Legacy School. Since then, Jiselle has captured audiences with her voice at many local and regional events.
As a naturally gifted singer and musician, her performances are filled with energy and love for her music. Her affinity for Selena is palpable, but she’s just as comfortable singing American standards. Family folklore has it that Linda Ronstadt is a distant cousin. Jiselle attributes her musical success to her supportive coaches and family.
“We just knew there was something about Jiselle,” Jeff Diaz said about his daughter. “She was a star from the day she was born. When she was 4 years old she started singing, and we recognized she really had some pipes.”
In 2016, she won her first pageant at the age of 14. She was crowned Miss Pinal County Outstanding Teen. In 2018, she won her second pageant, Miss City of Maricopa Outstanding Teen. This June, she will compete at the Miss Arizona event and, if she wins, represent Arizona in the Miss America Outstanding Teen scholarship program.
“Being in pageants has taught me how to be well-rounded, perseverant and determined,” she said. “I learned how to work hard and be resilient. I have grown and continue to grow immensely, motivated by passion, drive and a strong work ethic.”
Behind the scenes, however, there is much more than pageant life for this multi-faceted young woman. While beauty, talent, poise and intelligence shine through her personality and spirit, she is preparing to do the work she feels called to do. That is the work of service.
Establishing a career in music, Diaz aspires to become a recording artist in the Christian, country or Spanish genres. In tandem, she is also developing her platform evolving from “Be the Lighthouse.” It is called “The Three Pillars – Leadership, Service, Kindness.”
“I also love applying the idea of ‘act locally, think globally,’” she said.
Her platform through high school has been mentoring other teens to feel empowered when dealing with peer pressure. She has worked with Girl Scouts and Be Awesome Youth Coalition.
“Our home is filled with love and acceptance for each other and creativity. We, as parents, aim to instill the core values of commitment and integrity in our children,” mom Alexandra Diaz said. “We have poured our love and dedication into Jiselle and her brother, Jacob.”
Family life and faith are foundational elements for Jiselle and anchor her positive attitude and empowered action in the community.
“Obviously, my parents are my primary role models,” Diaz said, “and Maricopa will always be my hometown.”
She plans to compete in the Be Awesome Talent Show scheduled for June 1. She is also planning a video about Maricopa’s history and how the community is growing by leaps and bounds.
After graduation Jiselle plans to attend Grand Canyon University majoring in Worship Arts. She wants to become a worship leader at her church. Of course, her music will accompany her faithfully wherever she goes.
This story appears in the May issue of InMaricopa.