Local girl finalist in national American Miss Pageant
By Dorothy Inman-Johnson
Special to the Outlook
Nine year-old Ahkira Jones, a straight A student at the Florida A& M (K-12) Developmental Research School, was crowned a Florida finalist on June 10 allowing her to advance to the National American Miss Junior Pre-teen Pageant in Hollywood, California. The National American Miss organization coordinates one of the largest and most reputable youth pageants in the United States. Ahkira competed in her first Florida pageant in the summer of 2016, but was not a finalist. She entered the North Florida American Miss competition held June 8-10 in Jacksonville, Florida again this year with high hopes; and was not disappointed_ winning her highest points in the Acting category for the preteen division. The girls were judged in four major areas: Introduction/ Resume, Interview, Formal Wear, and Community Service. Florida, Texas, and California are the only states that select winners in two separate state pageants because of their size and population. Florida holds a North Florida and Central/ South Florida pageant.
Ahkira said after winning the preteen finalist award in the North Florida competition, “I was so happy and could not believe it when my name was called”. She is just as excited as she and her parents, Rahsann and LaVonia Jones, prepare to fly to California for the National American Miss Pageant scheduled Nov. 20-25. Ahkira feels her active involvement in gymnastics, dance, and Taekwondo, for which she has a blue belt, helped her develop the balance, agility, poise, and confidence to advance as a finalist to the national competition.
Her community service project is an awareness campaign for the plight of homeless veterans in Leon County, the state, and the nation. She states, “I want to support veterans because they risked their lives to defend our freedom…three of my four grandparents served in some branch of the military”. She has, therefore, kicked off a campaign for donations to assist local homeless veterans. As a result of her efforts, she has been invited to be the voice of veterans in radio public service announcements scheduled to begin at the end of October.
Ahkira’s school, family, and friends wish her success in bringing home a national title in November. For those interested in learning more about Ahkira’s Homeless Veterans Projects, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.