CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Miss North Carolina paid a visit to Johnson C. Smith University Wednesday.
Her mission was to tell students about her platform and to talk to students about entering the pageant world. For the first time, Miss USA, Miss America, and Miss Teen USA are all African American.
“I am one that always believes in the importance of representation,” Miss North Carolina Alexandra Badgett said. “It’s so important.”
Badgett wants more African American females to go for a pageant crown. She says the pageant world has changed her life.
“I am 22,” Badgett said. “And I am debt free, so that is a blessing - that’s probably the one moment that I will never forget. It’s like everybody saying ‘how is the crowning moment?’ I was like it was wonderful, it’s beautiful, but let’s talk about the conversation afterwards when I found out I was debt-free. They gave out a $22,000 scholarship.”
Badgett also says this experience not only allowed her to be debt-free but also gives her voice to champion her cause. Her platform is to reduce sexual assaults and educate people about the crime.
“It’s more than the sash and the crown,” Badgett said. “It’s about the person within and what you want to do to your community.”
Badgett now tells other females there is no such thing as a stereotypical pageant girl and they should not be intimidated. JCSU students who showed up to greet Miss North Carolina agree.
“I think it’s starting to come easier,” JCSU student Tyanna Coker said. “Once they see these ladies have done it. It brings the youth up to look and say ‘hey, I can do it. I am able to become an African American queen - pageant. I am able to do it.’”
Miss JCSU Janiya Miller says she is interested in continuing to be in pageants. She says some young ladies say they don’t have what it takes. She wants to encourage them to go after it.
“I have fallen in love with the stage, and all facets ever since I was a younger girl," Miller said. My stage presence is there, my love for it is there - just being a part and being able to be that example that others can look up to.”
Miss North Carolina will visit colleges in North Carolina Monday. Her next stop is competing in the Miss America Pageant in December.