The 2024 Prom Court nominees: Yolanda Leos, Aiden Smith, Kassandra Alonso, Carlos Alberto, Anna Bailey, Natalie Diaz, Melanie Bravo, Patrick Angulo, Uriel Morales, and Lillie Jimenez.
The 2024 Prom Court nominees: Yolanda Leos, Aiden Smith, Kassandra Alonso, Carlos Alberto, Anna Bailey, Natalie Diaz, Melanie Bravo, Patrick Angulo, Uriel Morales, and Lillie Jimenez.
J. Dollins

The Many Sides of Prom Court

The 2024 Prom Court nominees are a diverse group of unique, multi-faceted individuals. In these features, you’ll see they each contain multitudes
Carlos Alberto is in the running for 2024 Prom King. (J. Dollins)
Carlos Alberto is feeling the love

Normally you would see Carlos Alberto running on the soccer fields, but now he’s running for Prom King. 

Alberto is an outgoing student athlete here at Colton High School. Considering all he’s done over his high school career, he was ready to try something new..

“I deserve the crown because I get love out here. This is my city.” Carlos says, thumping his chest with pride as he reps Colton.

Carlos describes himself as charismatic, humorous and fun to be around, but no one really needs him to tell them that. Just spending a few minutes with him is enough to know that he’s good to hang out with.

Able to put a smile on someone’s face anytime of the day, and always friendly, Carlos loves to give younger athletes someone to look up to.

Carlos’s interesting facts about himself is that he’s fluent in the Spanish language and loves to express that with others, he also shares that his music and sense of style has “diversity.”

Alberto is on the Varsity boys soccer team, as one of his enjoyable hobbies is to play soccer.

He’s been active in the sport for over 10 years and enjoys every bit of it, he finds interest in watching it on TV, and learning more. 

“I would describe my soccer career as a roller coaster,” states Carlos. “I’ve had many ups and downs, success and failures throughout the years that has taught me a lot.”

As one of the captains, he pushes himself to play most positions he can, he would like his underclassmen to have someone to look up to, and be an example of a great captain and an individual as well. 

Though his senior season is over, he wishes to continue outside of school.

His motivation to participate in the prom court was his soccer team and other friends but when asked what inspires him to win, Carlos said, “The competition between me and my friends who are also running for King.”

Carlos doesn’t find this as a bad competition, he would overall be happy for his friends if they do win, those peers are special people in his life, and wishes nothing but success for them.

Some other special people in his life are his parents, for many reasons, but mainly because they are hardworking, always giving their support to him, and also pushing him to do his best.

“The support is all love.” Alberto explained. 

As he is the only boy in his family, surrounded by four sisters, he would like to make the family proud. 

To give back thanks to his parents, he would like to eventually have a career in the military or in the electrician path after high school, to start that, he plans to enter a trade school and continue from there. 

Carlos is running with his best friend, Lilie Jimenez, they’ve been friends for over five years. 

“I hope Lilie wins, she’s been putting in the effort during the campaigning.” he says about Jimenez.

The two nominees are grateful for the opportunity, they appreciate any vote that was made for them and hope to win Prom King and Queen.

Kassandra Alonso is running for 2024 Prom King. (J. Dollins)
Kassandra Alonso is breaking barriers

Kassandra Alonzo is breaking barriers and making history at Colton High, being the first female in the running for Prom King.

Alonzo held a strong position for not wanting to run for Prom Queen and opted for the title King instead.

“I mainly just didn’t want to have to be paired up with a guy. And you know I’m not like super girly and so I just wanted to run for King,” Alonzo said. 

What originally began as a joke with friends resulted in Alonzo being a nominee. Not only is Alonzo the first female to run for Prom King, but for the Prom fashion show and the Spring Pep Rally, Alonzo also changed the script by being the first female nominee to walk with another fellow female nominee Melanie Bravo instead of one of the males.

“I think it’s definitely a change, like you always see male and female, but no one sees female and female. I feel like it shows anyone can run for whatever they want, they shouldn’t be scared.” said Alonzo

Although a seemingly intimidating person to meet Alonzo is quite the opposite. “Like everyone I’m friends with, they would always say that they would look at me and think I’m mean, but in reality I’m really like one of the nicest people,” said Alonzo.

One of Alonzo’s features that may be intimidating are her tattoos, but once you hear the meaning behind them, you begin to realize how kind and family-oriented Alonzo is. “The rose on my hand is for my grandma, it’s like her favorite flower. And the one behind my ear has meaning behind it, it’s three threes. It’s like my grandma had three kids, my tia had three kids, my dad had three kids. It’s like a little special number. And the cross on my finger speaks for itself.”

And for Alonzo, winning Prom King is not just a joke anymore. “Winning would mean a lot actually, because it’s like that many people voted for me you know.” says Alonzo.  

Initially during the voting for prom court when the nominees were putting posters up at Colton High, Alonzo’s posters had been viciously torn down all over the school. 

Alonzo was the only one to experience the issue of having her posters torn down, along with not having any posters up her favorite poster which contained the slogan “Be slay, vote the gay.” was never approved, so during voting Alonzo held up that poster around the school since she couldn’t put it up in the school.

Despite the issues with her posters Alonzo stated “I think it just gave me more of like a feeling like I want to win so I can prove to you guys that I got a lot of vote you know and people wanted me to win.”

The last voting for Prom Queen and King will be at The Reef in Long Beach. And in Alonzo’s words, “Be slay, vote the gay”.

Patrick Angulo is running for 2024 Prom King. (J. Dollins)
Patrick Angulo is a family man

Home is where Patrick Angulo’s heart lives.

When you first encounter Patrick, he’s quite a mystery. He doesn’t talk much, never seems to smile save for an occasional smirk when he thinks something is funny, and he just comes across as cool.

Maybe it’s just his long, skater-guy hair.

But as you get to know Patrick, as he opens up and the words start coming, it’s clear that for him the idea of home is all about his families, both biological and chosen.

Patrick describes himself as a family man. “A lot of my motivation comes from them. They came from another country, so I’m the first generation and want to make them proud.”

The sacrifices his parents have made to give him and his brother a better life have encouraged Patrick to make the most of his. He will be the first in his immediate family to go to college.

For Patrick, the idea of family is embodied in a home, or more specifically a house. One day he wants to be a real estate agent. When he was young, his family moved around a bit, and that uncertainty about where they would be inspired him to make sure others could find a place to call home.

And obviously, it’s a good way to make money.

And while the traditional family is essential to who Patrick is, his idea of “family” extends beyond biology, like his brothers on the basketball team. “I’m quite close to them,” he says. “We’re always like playing basketball together.”

Family is part of everything Patrick does, even his campaign for Prom King. His cousin, Jacob Arias, helped him market himself with eye-catching posters that took inspiration from popular memes everyone could understand to a certain degree.

“[Jacob] was actually the one reason why I ran. The only reason why I ran was because he said he wasn’t going to bring be donuts that same Friday. I was like ‘Dang, I really want those donuts.’”

And now that he’s been selected as a part of Prom Court, Patrick has become more friendly with the others running for King. “There really isn’t no type of rivalry,” he said. “Just some typical competition that comes along with the candidate role.”

On Saturday night, that friendly competition will come to an end and Patrick will enjoy spending time with his Colton family in Long Beach at Prom. Win or lose, his heart is always in the right place.

Anna Bailey is running for 2024 Prom Queen. (J. Dollins)
Anna Bailey is ready to showcase her journey

In the vibrant halls of Colton High, where futures are dreamed and memories are made, Anna Bailey stands out not just for her bid for prom queen, but for the resilience and determination that has defined her journey. 

Navigating the final year of high school, Anna’s story is a testament to overcoming adversity and embracing every opportunity with strength and faith.

Her aspirations for the prom queen crown are more than a pursuit of high school fame; they symbolize a culmination of experiences, a chapter in her story of self-discovery and resilience. This bid is not a whimsical decision but a conscious choice to seize her senior year, a period that encapsulates both the joys and challenges of her high school journey.

A pivotal moment in Anna’s life came during her junior year, a year marred by a devastating ACL injury right before the soccer finals. Soccer, more than a sport for Anna, was an integral part of her identity, and this injury was a harsh blow. In her own words, “It was strange. I felt like I lost a part of who I am.” However, this setback only served to fuel her determination.

Juggling church commitments and soccer practice, Anna honed her ability to manage various aspects of her life with grace. Her approach to these commitments reflects her skill in balancing her passions with her responsibilities, a trait that has undoubtedly shaped her character.

The injury, while a setback, became a catalyst for personal growth. It tested her love for soccer and provided an opportunity to demonstrate her inner strength. Her recovery and comeback are emblematic of her philosophy: to face challenges head-on and emerge stronger. “I’ve shown myself I can do it. I’ll beat anything in my way,” she declares, reflecting a deep-rooted resilience.

Anna’s strength is closely tied to her faith, which she credits as a guiding force in her life. Her belief that tough times are opportunities for growth is a powerful message for others facing their own challenges. Her aspirations extend beyond the soccer field; she envisages a future either continuing her passion for soccer professionally or pursuing psychology to empower others as a therapist.

Prom night for Anna is not just a celebration; it’s a milestone, a moment to create lasting memories with her peers. It’s an opportunity to showcase her journey – one marked by perseverance, strength, and faith – and to further strengthen bonds with her classmates. This night is poised to be a highlight in her high school journey, a fitting tribute to her resilience and dreams.

Melanie Bravo is running for 2024 Prom Queen. (J. Dollins)
Melanie Bravo is a resilient leader

Melanie Bravo is a leader. She’s involved in varsity soccer, AVID, Track and Field, and basically anything she can get her hands on.  

Growing up, Melanie has always wanted to be the leader she’s able to be now. She is especially proud of the influence she has on others as the captain of our girls soccer team. “I’ve never realized how many people look up to me”, she said. 

Melanie has played soccer for 12 years in both club and on seasonal squads. She was raised playing soccer and always having weekend soccer games. Soccer means a lot to her family as a whole, and it helps her to connect with them.

Melanie really found the motivation to stick with playing for so long because of her parents. They always made sure that she was involved in soccer growing up, going to her games, helping her, and supporting her. 

Though each school organization she’s joined has helped give her a platform to help guide others in their own high school experiences, soccer holds a special place in her heart. 

But this all was affected drastically her Junior year when she got into a car accident. 

She broke her arm in the accident. She couldn’t play out the rest of the current season for soccer because of her injuries. Forced to sit on the sidelines for three months as she recovered, it was hard to sit back and watch as the season went on without her. 

This was just saddening for Melanie. Because to her soccer isn’t just a sport, it’s also something she plays to escape from life’s stresses. 

She laments over the fact. “When I would feel sad or need something to do to get my mind off things, I played soccer and I wasn’t able to do what I liked for a while.”

“Things got taken away from me,” she said. “The sport I loved made me mad and sad because I was not allowed to play.” 

However, Melanie still made an effort to stay involved. She spent her time on the sidelines observing and seeing what could change next season. 

Once she healed, she made sure to make those changes.

“I was able to change things I observed, such as shots, movements, and touches.” 

Able to do that, Melanie showed out senior year. She made history this year, although the journey through CIF had a bittersweet ending. 

Melanie led her team to the final four of the CIF playoffs. “We had high hopes of winning [the CIF divisional championship]. But it didn’t turn out the way we wanted to. But it was nice to have an experience like that.” 

Melanie wants to make this year a good ending as well.

Melanie was nominated for Homecoming but only ran senior year for prom. This is because she grew the confidence she needed once she realized it’s her last year in high school. 

“As a freshman, sophomore, and junior, I never thought I would ever run for prom. As a senior, I decided to run for prom queen because I am more mature and I wanted to have that senior prom experience.” 

Campaigning and advertising herself for this year’s prom has gotten her to the next big step in getting her own happy ending to High School. And, with fingers crossed, that dreamy happy ending will become reality. 

Natalie Diaz is running for 2024 Prom Queen. (J. Dollins)
Natalie Diaz is out of her comfort zone

A student’s senior year is full of many challenges and obstacles. From just trying to keep their grades and attendance up, to deciding what you want to do with your future, something is always pestering their minds. 

However, for Prom Queen Nominee Natalie Diaz, what’s been on her mind leading up to this Prom season has been… anything but Prom. 

Though having the dream of running for Prom as a kid, the thought quickly got overshadowed by pressing matters from school, college admissions, and life’s challenges in general. 

A quick reminder of what your Senior Year is supposed to be hit her abruptly when she got nominated by AVID and was met with support from her boyfriend Aiden Smith and his mother with their campaign. She realized just how important this is to her. 

No one could ever possibly grow if they never push themselves at least a little bit. A childhood favorite movie, the Princess Protection Program, which is about two polar-opposite teen characters exposing themselves to new experiences together, taught child Natalie this. 

Her inspirations from Disney’s many coming-of-age stories has helped Natalie come to the conclusion that taking risks is necessary to make an impact on yourself, and sometimes being in the spotlight isn’t so bad. 

“I have never run for a position in a club. I have never tried to become captain of a sports team. I have never even tried to run for homecoming,” she explains, “ I have lived in this bubble for most of my school years and I never once thought about stepping out of that comfort zone. This bubble has made me lose out on so many exciting opportunities that could have been fun or helpful; I didn’t want the same thing to happen with running for prom.”

The experience of partaking in this year’s Prom season, which includes campaigning and the annual Prom Fashion Show, has definitely helped both her and Aiden pop their metaphorical bubbles. 

Natalie’s presence on campus has definitely boomed this past year as well. She’s part of the history-making League Champs Girl’s Tennis team, AVID, and most recently Link Crew. 

Link Crew is the one organization on campus that’s entire purpose is based on human interaction, emotional support, and in general setting good examples for the lower classmen. To be in Link Crew, means you care intensely about those around you. 

Natalie Diaz can definitely say she does indeed feel that way, but the problem she has that’s been causing her confusion the past year, is that she might possibly care too much. She has so much love and care to give, she can’t figure out how to properly show it. 

Her passions and future career truly lie in the care of animals and children. But those two paths lead to completely different directions that she could follow in college; Sociology and Veterinary. 

“I don’t think that it’s about not being able to make up my mind, it’s just that I’ve always had a passion for helping kids and animals,” she says, “As someone who came from a rough background, I understand the feeling of being stuck with nowhere to go and with no one to talk to, especially as a child. This breaks my heart because I know there are many young kids and adolescents who have experienced these exact emotions.”

As she uses her strong sense of empathy as her compass to guide her through the extremely time-crunching and confusing time of her Senior Year, she still finds time to care for what she finds important. 

“I want to find a way in which I can aid both animals and kids,” she says, “ I don’t think I can just help one and leave the other, that’s just not who I am.

Her determination to do so has already set her onto the right track. Being a full-time older sister and a mother to one (dog) has already given her a taste of the type of future she wants. 

Natalie changed the course of her high school career once she accepted her Prom Nomination with Aiden, but she isn’t done yet. With high hopes, she’ll be walking into Prom with her newfound confidence and be walking out with a crown. 

Lillie Jimenez is running for 2024 Prom Queen. (J. Dollins)
Lillie Jimenez is all about making each moment memorable

Without amusement and making memories there’s no Lillie.

Closing the high school chapter, Lillie wants to make the most out of it. 

“Throughout high school I’ve been really scared to try anything, so I thought I’d push myself out there by running for prom.”

To be clear the main goal is to achieve the bloom of making each moment memorable

Let’s get to know key background information on her upbringing to become outgoing.

Lillie has been involved in soccer since her mother put her into cleats as a child. “My mom put me in soccer when I was little just so I had something to do.” After getting used to the structure of the sport, she quickly expressed admiration for the pros that came with it.

She continued, “Soccer has made me meet new people and form new bonds with different people.” Her friends describe her as ecstatic with a hint of enthusiasm due to her personality. Certainly soccer sets as a pedestal in her social life.

Props to growing up with a sport, she helped her team dominate in the CIF playoffs. Creating history highlighting girls sports dominating in CIF recognition. Adding onto the victories, they claimed the title: San Andreas League champions.

Besides her mom uplifting her athletically, she sets as a role model. Where does she get all the motivation to campaign with slightly less fear? Her mom. “My mom has always encouraged me to do my best at everything I try.” Academically Lillie pursues to put all effort into what is presented to her. Having the support of a parent enhances the motivation needed to achieve successful outcomes. 

The one topic to know about if you truly want to get to know Lillie is music. The love she shares for music is highly recognized in her persona. She exclaims, “My love for music comes from my dad.”

Almost every artist and/or band has been passed down from her dad’s musical taste. Can’t find where Lillie is? Probably, most likely, yeah she’s at a concert. Name a known festival or artist on her playlist and you’ll hear her experience of her attending. Some to name are: Rolling Loud, Smokers Club, Smokin Grooves, Sza’s SOS Tour, Travis Scott’s Utopia Tour, Kendrick Lamar & Baby Keem’s Big Steppers Tour, Tyler The Creator’s CMIYGL Tour, Lil Uzi’s Pink Tape Tour and more.

Not only does music connect her to her dad as a passed down passion, it has a deeper significance: the meaning behind her name. “He even named me after a song!” Song: “Of Lillies and Remains” by Bauhaus. 

“I want to start my own business with tooth gems, teeth whitening, and grills.” Life after high school she plans to attend Riverside Community College as an undeclared major. Her ultimate goal is to obtain a dental assistant background in order to pursue her interest in dentistry but with a twist of art. 

Campaigning seemed eventful but fun for Lillie. She did it all with the help of her friend group. Everyone around campus were asking for her glossy heart shaped glasses with a marker tagged statement “Vote 4 Lillie”. Don’t forget the artist LUCKI and cartoon designed stickers. 

“I had lots of people asking me for a pair and I saw my stickers all over campus”

To end a senior year full of memories all she strives for is to make it all worth it, not for others, but her own.

Yolanda Leos is running for 2024 Prom Queen. (J. Dollins)
Yolanda Leos is only interested in one opinion

“I wanted to get out of my comfort zone.”

Yolanda Leos’s feelings are echoed in the words of other king and queen candidates in this year’s prom court. For her, however, breaking free of her comfort zone was all about something far more important than simply trying something new, or making the most of her senior year.

For Yolanda, it was all about learning to love herself.

“Coming out of my bubble, I stopped caring about others’ opinions,” she said. “I was really self-conscious, but this year I learned about self-love. It was my lowest point and I realized that if you ever want someone to love you, you first have to learn to love yourself.”

That’s a big revelation that a lot of people don’t learn until they are much older, but considering how much Yolanda cares about others, it makes since she would be way ahead of the curve.

She is devoted to helping others, especially in her work as a member of Link Crew. Her involvement there, as well as in the CHAMPS pathway, has helped her build essential relationships and find opportunities to provide care and compassion for others.

“I’ve always wanted to join Link Crew,” she said,” ever since I was in Web Crew in middle school.”

Now that she’s about to graduate, Yolanda has her sights set on her future . . . as a teacher.

“Ever since second grade I liked the idea of teaching,” she said. “Maybe I’ll teach culinary or Spanish.”

In the meantime, as she prepares for her future success in the classroom, Yolanda keeps her plate full. She helps her mom with event planning as well as doing photography and videography at the events.

Now, Prom is right around the corner and she’s ready for the results. No matter what happens, she now knows whose opinion matters most.


Uriel Morales is running for 2024 Prom King. (J. Dollins)
Uriel Morales is a big guy with a big heart

Uriel Morales is a big guy with a big heart. 

To look at him is to be immediately intimidated. He’s big enough to be a football linebacker, with broad shoulders that look designed to hold the weight of the world.

Then an easy smile touches his eyes and that’s enough to know Uriel is an oversized teddy bear.

But he’s still ready to tackle the weight of the world.

After high school, Uriel plans on going to Cal Poly to study civil engineering. For those of you who aren’t in the know, civil engineers are the designers of city infrastructure, like pipelines, freeway systems, tunnels, dams, airports. If it is needed to ensure people can get places or live efficient lives, civil engineers are responsible for it.

“I want to help people in their lives,” Uriel says. “I don’t want them to live in places where everything is not working or functioning correctly.”

Before he gets to changing the world, high school isn’t quite done with him yet.

As President of the Welding Club, he is working with his classmates and advisors to prepare for an upcoming certification test on April 26. Passing the test will ensure that they have the appropriate certification to get specific welding jobs. It’s a great first step moving towards civil engineering, and can open a lot of doors for him professionally.

And, as if he wasn’t busy enough, he’s also a captain on the track and field team. One of the team’s top throwers in discus and shotput, Uriel is enjoying the competition in his senior year.

Right now, though, all this pales in comparison to being on prom court.

At first, running for king wasn’t even something he wanted to do. He had put himself out there for Homecoming court earlier in the year, but was unsuccessful and figured it wasn’t right for him. However, his friends encouraged him, and then the Track team nominated him for Prom Court.

Uriel didn’t have high hopes for making the prom court, so when the court was announced at the Prom Fashion Show on Mar. 8, he wasn’t in attendance. “I was getting ready for a track meet,” he said.

“It was a big shock,” he said about finding out he had made it.

And here he is, the big guy with the big heart hoping he might just win the big crown on the big night. There’s no doubt that he is deserving.

Aiden Smith is running for 2024 Prom King. (J. Dollins)
Aiden Smith is putting in the work

Link Crew.

Eco-Friendly Club.



Prom King?

What doesn’t Aiden Smith do?

Well, he didn’t run for Homecoming King. “With schoolwork and clubs, there was never time to run,” he said. “It’s definitely a thing that takes time . . . you have to put work into it.”

But now Aiden has finally decided to run for Prom King for two reasons: his girlfriend, Natalie Diaz, who is running for Prom Queen, and because of his mom’s encouragement. 

“You know how parents be sometimes,” he said. “Like ‘I want you to do this.’”

In school, Aiden has picked up a ton of skills, both academic and interpersonal. He’s participated in speech competitions, is a member of Link Crew, writes well, talks well, but there are some things school can’t prepare anyone for. “It’s always been like for me: submit your work, and do this . . . But I feel like prom is a unique running . . . I’ve had experience running for things, but not a popular vote.”

He’s open to trying something new. “If I can’t give my all to something new, I don’t do it, but if I can divide my time and give it the time it needs, then I do like to try new things.” 

Like being prom king.

Whether or not he wins the crown, after high school ends and the caps are tossed in the air, Aiden has a lot of new things awaiting him that he can give his all to. He plans to go to college and study biology. Mostly, Aiden just wants to live his life to the best of his ability wishing the best for his competitors and everyone else too.

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