When Cheslie Kryst won Miss USA, it was more than a personal victory, it marked the first time ever that three black women are reigning as Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America.
The historic moment is inspiring young girls across the country, including Cleveland’s 13-year-old Alia Ali, who’s competing for Miss Ohio Junior Teen.
“I think that is amazing and it definitely helped my confidence competing this year,” she says. “Not only mine but others because you know that there’s more diversity being seen.”
Ali says she’s also seen more diversity over the years locally.
“My parents always taught me how to love myself and how to appreciate myself and my skin color and be proud of where I come from. So my skin color has not necessarily been a confidence issue for me but I know for a lot of young ladies it is.”
Not only is Ali preparing for competition this August, she’s a 7th grader at Dike School of the Arts, majoring in dance. She takes classes at TRI-C Creative Arts Dance Academy and she takes vocal classes at Karamu House.
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