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The Journey

Darcy Castro started her pageant career at the age of 19, capturing the title of Miss Portland 1996, an official Miss America Scholarship Program local pageant. She went on to win three consecutive local titles in the organization, representing the Portland metropolitan area at the Miss Oregon pageant. At the state level, she was a semi-finalist, talent winner and academic achievement winner. Her participation in the Miss America program propelled her to graduate from Portland State University with honors and begin a successful career in public relations and marketing. 


She continued her service with the Miss America program as the Executive Director of the Miss Portland Scholarship Program, ushering her fist titleholder, Katie Harman, through the ranks of the program to become the first Miss America from the state of Oregon in 2001. She has also judged and consulted for local Miss America programs in Oregon, Texas and Connecticut. 


After 20 years working and raising a family, Darcy stepped back into pageantry, representing Connecticut in the American Women of Service pageant. In August 2019, she captured the title of Elite National American Woman of Service. 


“Why a pageant in my 40s? I just had to stop hiding behind what was holding me back and go all in. So here I am, four kids, many moves and a career in non-profit marketing under my belt. Time to get back to my roots and dig out the rhinestones. No one’s getting any younger and there’s no time like the present! Take a look at what is holding you back, identify it, name it… then let it go. Live your life to the fullest and take care of yourself so you can love others with clarity and purpose.”


Her past personal achievements include being named the Junior Women’s Club of El Paso Provisional Member of the Year; serving as a two-time President of the Catholic Mothers Council; exclusive private event staff serving dignitaries such as President George W. Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox and Arizona Attorney General Janet Napolitano; being twice selected to serve as Student Ambassador representing Portland State University at high visibility events; leading a public awareness campaign to save the Rockwall County Library; and dancing with both the MacKenzie Dance Company and Tir Na Nog Irish Dancers.


Darcy is the wife of Lieutenant Colonel Juan Castro, a pilot in the US Air Force, and mother to four kids, one Australian Sheppard, and two velvet-soft black cats. Outside of work, family, volunteering and pageantry, Darcy is a museum enthusiast and lifelong learner. She enjoys weight lifting, hiking, cooking, entertaining and cheering on her kids from the sidelines. 

About American Women of Service

American Women of Service is a community service-based pageant, founded with a few goals in mind: (1) To empower women across the country to become the best version of themselves possible. (2) To encourage women who serve in their communities to share that love with others around them and inspire others to do the same. (3) To create a positive, encouraging, empowering sisterhood of beautiful women who are interested in motivating others through community involvement and community service. (4) Lastly, to promote anti-bullying at all ages and in all areas of life. Start your journey at


About Crossroads

American Women of Service is part of Crossroads, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides educational programs to empower youth to support and change their personal lives, their communities, the environment and the world. Learn more at

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