North Carolina Lawyer Who Works Pro-Bono To Aid The Incarcerated Snags Miss USA 2019 Title
Black women are taking over the pageant world.
Lawyer Chelsie Kryst is Miss USA 2019, rounding out a trifecta of Black titleholders in the biggest pageants in the country.
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Kryst was crowned on Thursday night during the competition in Reno, Nevada, reports The Associated Press. The 27-year-old who represented North Carolina defeated first runner-up Alejandra Gonzalez of New Mexico and Triana Browne of Oklahoma.
Kryst is a former track star who earned an MBA and law degree from Wake Forest University. She is currently a civil litigation attorney who works pro-bono to help incarcerated people get reduced sentences. She also runs a blog, White Collar Glam, to teach women how to dress for the workplace.
Her interest in pageants was piqued when a 10-year-old Kryst watched her mother reign as Mrs. North Carolina in 2002.
"It was a time in my life when I didn't' know who I was and wasn't confident in myself,” she said. “I was that little weird kid who had a unibrow and didn't have any friends. My hair was always pulled back. I thought I want to be just like her.”
She began to compete in high school and believes pageants can help women become more confident. Kryst insists she is the same girl.
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“I can't say pageants make you beautiful. I think they make you more confident in the person that you are," she admitted.
"I'm still that same weird kid. I still like reading books. And at the end of the day, I like to sit by myself in my house and just watch movies. But I think pageants taught me all that, and my mom was really the one who introduced me to that and drew me to pageantry.”
Kryst kept her cool when she was waiting to see who would take the title.
“I just kept hearing my name get called,” she said. “All I could think was, ‘This is really cool.’”
Kryst is the third Black woman to receive a crown in one of the biggest pageants in the country within the past year. Kaliegh Garris of Connecticut, 18, was crowned Miss Teen USA on Sunday as Blavity previously reported.
Congratulations to Kaliegh Garris of Connecticut who has been crowned 2019’s Miss Teen USA. 💓 pic.twitter.com/HFAGo550pD— Blk Girl Culture (@blkgirlculture) April 29, 2019
Nia Franklin won the Miss America pageant in September 2018.
Kryst will represent the United States in the upcoming Miss Universe pageant.
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