The familiar aroma of citrus blossoms in the spring is one of the most iconic and beloved qualities of Exeter. Such a town is known as one of the gems of the citrus belt in the San Joaquin Valley, and also serves as a gateway for tourists traveling to Sequoia National Park. The quaint downtown offers distinguished murals detailing scenes from the historic Yokut tribe, agricultural work, and picturesque representations of the national park. My name is Lauren McEwen, I am 17 years old and a senior at Exeter Union High School, and these are a handful of favorite features of my hometown.
In the least, I’ve spent my entire life in Exeter; but in reality, it goes beyond that. I attend Mass each week at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, dine at restaurants and shop for groceries where the employees know my family by name. I feel the love this community has for my high school when they are in attendance each time I perform with the Monarch Band on the concert stage, on the marching field and in parades; and also when my Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter is able to host events for the 400 members in the club. These activities would not be possible without the generosity community members express for Exeter Unified’s students.
It is the members of this community: the business owners, teachers, city employees, service club members and families who give their time and talent for the betterment of our town. I hope to be a person like these, someone who supports their town, and expresses it through service and gratitude.
As an aspiring journalist, much of the town has read my work as it has been featured in the Sun-Gazette and a number of other local and regional publications. My work as a journalist surfaced during my sophomore year of high school, when I served as the Reporter for the Exeter FFA Chapter, and I continue to contribute to the newspaper frequently. I am currently serving as the Exeter FFA Chapter vice-president, where community involvement and personal growth of our members is a primary focus. It should be noted that during our annual sponsorship drive, the predominant benefactors are from this town, which speaks volumes of our community’s generosity towards agricultural education.
During the week, I can be found at Sequoia Hills Stables in Elderwood, where I ride English saddle in dressage and jumping courses. There, I also exercise and train horses to be suitable for other riders. Academically, I am a three-year member of the California Scholarship Federation with a cumulative GPA of 4.1. With a plan to major in Agricultural Communications and minor in Spanish, I look forward to returning to the valley after college to serve as a correspondent for a newspaper or online publication, and to be an advocate for agriculture.
I am excited to serve on the Miss Exeter Court, as the experience will allow me to better understand Exeter’s needs, meet with new and familiar faces, and attend events that influence the fabric of this community.