From Left: Miss District of Columbia Cierra Jackson, Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell, Miss Tennessee Grace Burgess
(Photo: MAO/Bruce V. Boyajian)
*Originally posted September 7, 2016
Atlantic City, NJ (September 6, 2016) – During the first of three preliminary nights for the “2017 Miss America Competition” in Boardwalk Hall, Miss Tennessee, Grace Burgess was named Tuesday night’s preliminary Talent winner for her vocal performance of “Desperado.” Grace will receive a $2,000 scholarship. Also capturing the spotlight was Miss District of Columbia, Cierra Jackson, who was the preliminary Lifestyle and Fitness winner in a pink Irene West swimsuit. Cierra will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
Founded in 1921, the Miss America Organization is one of the nation’s leading advocates for women’s education and the largest provider of scholarship assistance to young women. The Miss America Organization and its 52 state organizations make available millions in cash and in-kind scholarships annually. The Miss America Organization also provides young women with a vehicle to further their personal and professional goals and instills within them a spirit of community service through a variety of nationwide community-based programs.
*Originally posted on September 2, 2016
Read the original article from the Ledger-Enquirer.
Cierra Jackson was crowned Miss Columbus in 2015, but she never fulfilled her dream of competing in the Miss America Pageant.
Now the 24-year-old woman, who moved to Washington after relinquishing her title, will finally get her wish.
On June 19, she was crowned Miss District of Columbia, which qualified her to represent the nation’s capital in the upcoming Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J. The preliminary competition will be held Sept. 6-8, and the final competition on Sept. 11.
Jackson, who sports her natural hair, said she will be competing not just to win the pageant and promote her platform on behalf of military children, but also to encourage others to be their true and authentic selves.
“I’ve had so many people tell me that I shouldn’t wear my hair naturally curly on stage, but there is a purpose behind that vision,” she said during a Ledger-Enquirer interview. “It’s to show people that you can still be successful, you can still be amazingly talented and still reach all of your goals. I think that’s a universal message that anyone can grab on to and hold on to in their lives.
“I’ve been so blessed that the Miss District of Columbia Board has been so open to allowing me to express myself in that way and embraced me choosing to present myself in an authentic way,” she added. “I know that it happened this way because God destined it to be this way.”
A native of Bowling Green, Ky., Jackson grew up in Columbus as a military brat. She attended Britt David Elementary School and Blackmon Road Middle School before graduating from Columbus High School in 2010.
Jackson began competing in the Miss America Pageant system while a student at Spelman College in Atlanta, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2014.
The first year, she was crowned Miss Brookhaven and qualified to compete in the Miss Georgia Pageant, where she placed among the top 12 contestants.
In 2013, Jackson was the first black woman crowned Miss Rome. Last year, she won the Miss Columbus Pageant and represented the city in the Miss Georgia Pageant with her natural hair.
Though she lost the state pageant, she received a non-finalist talent award for her rendition of “Alabaster Box.” She also raised the third largest amount of donations for the Children’s Miracle Network.
After relinquishing her Miss Columbus crown, she moved to Washington as a fellow with the Running Start/Walmart Star Fellows program that exposes young women to the world of politics. Four months later, she was selected for a White House internship, which she completed in May.
Jackson also recently authored a children’s book titled “CC: The Military Kid.”
It’s been a long journey, she said, but she’s glad her desire to compete in the Miss America Pageant finally becoming a reality.
“I competed for the Miss Georgia Pageant five times. I went to Miss Georgia three times,” Jackson said Wednesday. “I placed in the top 12 once, and also got some awards along the way.”
“But being able to actually win District of Columbia in my sixth year, which was also my last year of eligibility, was a sign to me that it’s extremely important to continue to be persevering,” she said. “ I could have given up many times. But I knew that it was something that I wanted to do, so I made sure that I continuously went for it.”
To vote for contestants in the Miss America “People Choice” contest, go tohttp://missamerica.org/vote/
Read more here.
*Originally posted on October 28, 2015 | Photo by Bruce Guthrie
Haely was featured in the Washington Post before she left for Miss America. Read the full article here.
*Originally posted on September 1, 2015
Haely arrived in Atlantic City this weekend thanks to Miss DC 1997 and President of the Board, Sonya Gavankar. She has been having the time of her life appearing on Good Morning America this morning and making friends with the other 51 contestants.
A special thanks to all who helped Haely raise $6,100 for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals!
You can follow her journey on Facebook and Twitter and while you’re there, make sure to vote every day by posting “District of Columbia” #MissAmericaVote
And tune into Miss America LIVE on ABC on Sunday, September 13 at 9pm EST.
*Originally posted on June 16, 2015
On June 14, Haely Jardas was crowned Miss District of Columbia 2015 at Arena Stage. She is looking forward to promoting her platform, Mental Health Matters, and has already discussed her story and advocacy on Fox 5.
Photos from the pageant can be found at www.bguthriephotos.com, and have also been posted by NBC Washington and DC 101.
Further results from the pageant can be found here.
*Originally posted on March 5, 2015
On National Pancake Day (March 4), Miss District of Columbia Teresa Davis volunteered to flip pancakes at IHOP to benefit the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Footage from the event can be found on myFOXdc.com.
*Originally posted on February 23, 2015
An article about the 10th annual Chance for Life poker tournament featured a picture of Miss DC Teresa Davis.
Please click here to read the article.
*Originally posted on February 12, 2015
On February 7, Miss District of Columbia attended the Sweethearts and Patriots Gala, hosted by the District of Columbia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and the District of Columbia Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The gala benefitted Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).
Teresa was featured on Guest of a Guest and Bisnow.
*Originally posted on September 28, 2014
On September 27, Cydney Taylor Hill, Miss DC’s Outstanding Teen, and seven Miss DC alumni and friends helped at the fall party at St. Ann’s Home for Children, Youth and Children.
*Originally posted on September 22, 2014
The Washington Post’s Reliable Source interviewed Miss District of Columbia Teresa Davis after returning from Atlantic City, where she competed in the Miss America Pageant on September 14.
Please click here to read the article.