Miss Tahiti 2018 visits Central East High School

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Friday morning Vaimalama Chaves, Miss Tahiti 2018 visited students at Central East High School in Fresno County.

She strummed her Ukulele almost 3,000 miles away from home for students who are participating in French class. She played a song her mother played for her when she was little. She said the Valley is a slight change from what she is used to.

"I'm cold," Chaves. "I am really cold because the weather at home is about 20 to 25 degrees Celsius." (68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.)

But it is going to take more than chilly weather to stop her from her mission. Her platform is education. She currently has a master's degree in marketing and business. Today she taught students about her culture, French Polynesia and pageant life.

"Nelson Mandela said that education was the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world and I agree with him, that is why I am here," she said.

Students gave her the star treatment. She signed notebooks, French - English dictionaries, and even shoes.

"I drew her some flowers that said welcome to Fresno," said Sophomore Isabelle Trujillo.

"I would love to learn more because it is so different to talk to someone from a different country or island," said Sophomore Diana Her.

For Junior Ofaatu Ah Yen meeting Miss Tahiti meant representation.

"I was born in Samoa and to actually speak and see another Polynesian islander is really amazing," said Ah Yen.

The visit coordinated by French teacher Scott Donaghe. This is the second year in a row they have a Miss Tahiti winner come and educate students.

"She talked earlier about not giving up about what your dreams are, but a dream is just a dream unless you have a plan and that is a big message from her," said Donaghe.
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