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Charli Burnett: Representing Barstow
Charli was born in Victorville, CA and raised in Barstow, CA. She attended Crestline Elementary School with her sister and cousins, then Barstow Intermediate School, Barstow Jr. High and Barstow High School. She has been involved with dance: ballet, tap, jazz and soloist at Kim Harris Dance Studio. She played softball with Barstow Park and Rec were she was positioned as catcher. Also, she was involved in the Barstow Jr. High Marching Band playing snare drum and Aztec Marching Band were she played bells. She was blessed to be Miss Teen Barstow 2010 before she achieved Miss Barstow. She has been involved in many activities and organizations.
Q: Describe a special memory you have in the High Desert.
A: Since I was raised here I have many memories. To pick just one is really hard. Attending elementary with my family was awesome! We had so much fun together and have memories we laugh at now that we’re older. Playing softball with all my friends was awesome too and made some great friends. But winning Miss and Teen Barstow has to be the best because I was able to do so much for the town and meet amazing people!
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: I always go down to Los Angeles to visit my sister and friends. We go to the beach, malls, downtown, hike, eat at all the cool restaurants and explore!
Q: Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you.
A: A lot of people have this image of me that isn’t me at all. If you knew me you would know that I’m funny and have a great sense of humor, I’m very down to earth, sweeter then you think, and total opposite of the image people see me as. If people took the time to talk to me and see the real me maybe they wouldn’t point their fingers and judge me all the time. I never judge a book by its cover, so neither should you.
Q: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
A: I would love to change numerous things in the world. I wish we were all equal; no social ladder, no money, and no racial discrimination. Why can’t we all just be nice and free? I hate social status because it’s based on wealth in different aspects. We should all accept each other for the riches of a soul instead of manmade objects.
Q: If you could change one thing about the High Desert, what would it be?
A: The High Desert needs more programs or activities for people to do. I believe if we had things for people to do we wouldn’t have nearly as many problems. Fun centers that consist of a bowling alley, skate rink, arcades, and laser tag so people would focus their time on having fun instead of Facebooking all day.
Q: What person, living or from history, would you most like to have dinner with and why?
A: This question is so tough! I’m a big history fan instead. I really would love to have a huge dinner at my house with — Mother Teresa, Harvey Milk, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln and my grandpa, Enrique (Mr.Rod) Rodriguez. All of these people I’ve always been interested in because I see qualities in them that I see in myself. Mother Teresa helped with no expectation of anything back; she is humble and always spoke the truth and faced her problems with a different view. Harvey Milk never took no for an answer no matter how much he was judged by his peers and labeled as something he was not, He kept pursuing his goals, just like me. John F. Kennedy always had an image and an expectation of what people thought and wanted, everyone put him down after he was gone when we really didn’t admire the person he was even though he made mistakes. He was still an amazing human being. Martin Luther King for the strong belief of what he thought was right. We have more followers in the world then leaders and when a leader is amongst us we should idolize them for standing up and leading. Abraham Lincoln merely because he failed over 13 times, but never paid attention to failure, always kept pushing for his goals. My Grandpa Rodriguez came to the U.S. at a very young age with nothing and made himself a businessman. First opening up a pool hall then he opened the Rodriguez market all while working full time for the railroad. These people all have similar qualities that I see in myself. I would love to have dinner with them and see how they got through the walk of life.
Q: Who is someone who had a big influence on your life?
A: Besides God being the biggest influence and being the best person in my life. The strong line of Hispanic women have the biggest influence in my life starting with my great-grandma Conception Rodriguez, my nana, Gloria (Rodriguez) Pawlow, my mom, Veronica Pawlow, my aunt, Gina Poindexter, my sister, Alyx Burnett, my nina, Sally Villafana-Najera, and my Godmother Rene Barron. We were born with all strong, independent, and loyal blood. My family has always taught me to be strong, bold, always be you, and never pay attention to what others say. Brush it off and focus on your goals. I am proud to be influence by the most beautiful and strongest women that I’ve ever known.
Q: What talent do you most wish you had?
A: I wish I had the courage to sing in front of people. I can sing really good especially in the shower but if someone were to ask me to sing in front of a big group of people or anyone in general, I would crack and run into the corner. Singing has to be one the most nerve racking thing that’s ever existed. Props to all the singers out there!
Q: What words of advice do you have for the next generation?
A: Knowledge is power. Always learning about different things. Stay in school and get the best education possible for you. Always go for your dreams no matter what anyone says. You can achieve all that you want and more. If you dream it you can achieve it.
Q: Tell us about the charities or causes that are close to your heart and why.
A: Any charity is close to my heart. I’ve had people who are close to me that died from cancer, family who become addicted and became homeless and needed a meal, or even a baby born prematurely. Every charity in Barstow who helps people is close to me and hit me in a soft spot. I love to help people. Not to be known as the “nicest” Miss Barstow or the “greatest” just because I love to help and see a smile when I do it. Recently, I attended the Greater Hope Foundation Christmas party, and after hearing stories of the children I couldn’t help but cry and be inspired to help them in the future. I haven’t done anything yet to help this charity but in the future I will because no kid ever deserves harmful treatment.
Q: What is something you are particularly proud of?
A: I am proud of the person I have become. I have been through so much, more than people even know. Through every struggle I’ve ever had, I made it through with a new lesson and perspective on life. I never let the negative affect me or let me down. I constantly stay positive and tell myself for every dark day is a happier tomorrow. I learn from it, fix it, and move on with life. I am mature, humble, strong, happy, down to earth and beautiful inside and out.
Q: What’s your favorite movie and why?
A: Movies are a big part of my life. I always watch them when I have nothing to do. The movie Detachment (I suggest everyone watch it ), Eat Pray Love, Elf, any movie by Tim Burton, and recently I watched Spanglish. My Mom made me watch it one day and I fell in love. The moral behind it is amazing. So many more, but it might take the entire page!
Q: Tell us about your favorite thing about living in the High Desert
A: First, I love the Skyline Drive Inn! I think it’s the coolest thing ever! I go all the time, and whenever people come from cities to visit I take them there. Second, Barstow has the most amazing sky I’ve ever seen. The sunset to sunrise and even the night sky. I love looking at the stars and Barstow has a great view. Also, I’ve met so many people in this desert who have helped me with my walk in life. I don’t know what I would do without these people who have been there for me. They are a true blessing from God. Finally, the way people underestimate me in bigger cities because I’m from a small town. I love being a success story; of being that small town girl that made it in the big city.
Q: What is the best thing about your job?
A: My job is amazing! I work at the BEST restaurant in town — Los Domingo’s — with the best boss, staff and customers. Not only do I see everyone as being Miss Barstow but I also see everyone when I work especially during football! I’m so lucky to be given this job as hostess I don’t know what I would do without it. I’ve met so many people, heard so many stories and learned things for my future.
Q: What’s your favorite quote? Why?
A: I have numerous quotes I live by but, as I get older I began to realize different things more and more. Dita Von Teese said “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” You can’t make everyone happy it’s impossible so make yourself happy before anyone else! So as I began to realize, I stopped worrying about everyone else and focus on yourself.
Q: What book had a significant impact on you?
A: I’ve never been the biggest book worm but, I have a few favorites. I love Mother Teresa’s book “No Greater Love”. I always go to adoration at my church. When I do, I meditate and read her books. They are life motivating and help me with problems in life. “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom is a very good book. I had to read it for English and I’m so happy I chose this one. I highly suggest it if you want to see different views in life. Recently I’ve been reading a book called “That Girl in Your Mirror” written by Vonda Kay Van Dyke. My pageant trainer suggested that I read it to learn more about myself and it did exactly that. It’s interesting because it was written in the late 60’s and it feels like she’s speaking in present day and right to you. Also she was a Miss America — even more relatable for me!
Q: Of all the places you’ve been, what’s your favorite and why?
A: I love to travel. The world is so beautiful — filled with culture, food and fun. As of right now, I loved New York, New York (love is an understatement). The whole vibe and people really struck me. I could see myself living in SoHo one day exploring the beautiful city. When you are down in Times Square and you look around, the feeling you get is an overwhelming feeling. New York can’t be explained enough to understand its greatness!
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
A: I could never pick one place to travel. I plan on backpacking the world at some point in time in my life. I want to experience every country, eat the food, meet people, and see all the great history! I can’t wait for that moment to come. It will be so exciting!
Q: Tell us about one thing you want to accomplish in life.
A: I hope I conquer all the dreams I have! I have a list of all things I want to accomplish and I hope by the time I’m 80 and sitting on my couch, I have no regret because I did it all!
Q: What’s your favorite place to eat in the High Desert?
A: Of course my restaurant! Before I worked at Los Domingo’s, I ate here all the time! I’m not a huge fan of eating out so when I do it’s my favorite!
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: I’ll be about twenty-eight years old, I see myself successfully in my career as a weather broadcaster in Southern California. Hopefully, close to getting married and being in my prime!
Q: What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
A: Sweets! I love any desserts from red velvet cupcakes, Oreo’s, cheesecake, and especially chocolate chip cookies!
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say?
A: I want to let my town know that I’m proud to represent Barstow now and in the future. I hope to become successful one day so you can all be proud and strive to be successful just like me one day. I promise I will not let you guys down!