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Miami Dade College Student Competes in Miss Universe Pageant

Indiana Sanchez

Photo by Paul Gisbrecht

Miami, August 12, 2009 - Indiana Sanchez, a Miami Dade College student, is among the more than 80 candidates from around the world who will compete for the Miss Universe crown this month.

Nearly a year ago it was the last thing on her mind. The 21-year-old was approached by a pageant agent while standing in the check-out line at CVS. That scout signed her up for the Miss Nicaragua pageant, which she won. Now she’s representing her native country at the 58th Annual Miss Universe pageant at Atlantis Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas.
The winner will be crowned on Aug. 23, a day before the fall semester begins at MDC. The outcome will define the course of her life.

 “I’m anxious, happy, don’t know what to expect, but I have to be positive, put all that aside and enjoy the moment,” Sanchez said.

Making time for college was difficult for Sanchez, a certified physician’s assistant who has been modeling for the past four years. It was particularly hard during the spring term, as she completed her coursework and participated in the Nicaragua pageant simultaneously. MDC’s highly respected Virtual College made her education accessible.

“I really like [the Virtual College],” she said. “I travel a lot, so it’s perfect for me.”

In addition to modeling, Sanchez wants to pursue a career in nursing. She also founded The Indiana Save a Life Foundation, which redeploys a portion of her modeling income to help single mothers in Nicaragua start their own business.

The Virtual College at MDC is a college-wide program that offers online courses for students who are unable to attend classes at a campus because of busy schedules, family obligations, physical disabilities, or geographical constraints. Enrollment in the Virtual College, with more than 120 courses available, has been growing steadily in recent years.

For more information about MDC’s Virtual College, please call 305-237-3800, or visit

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.