Beauty, brains and class. Miss District of Columbia Deshauna Barber beat out the competition at the 2016 Miss USA pageant on Sunday, June 5.
Miss Hawaii Chelsea Hardin, 24, came in as the first runner-up, and Miss Georgia Emanii Davis, 22, was the second runner-up.
The new Miss USA, 26, is a logistics commander for the U.S. Army and an IT analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce who wants to focus her platform on PTSD treatment for soldiers returning from deployments.
Barber inherited the crown from 2015 winner Miss Oklahoma Olivia Jordan.
— Miss USA (@MissUSA) June 6, 2016
“So I just wanted to let u know to follow my journey @theoliviajordan and thank u for a year of the most love I have ever received,” Jordan captioned a sweet Instagram video on Saturday, June 4, as she wrapped up her yearlong reign. “But instead I couldn’t stop balling crying every time I tried to take a video … so here is the only one that I put words together between sob sessions. I am so unbelievably grateful for you all and for the most unforgettable year of my life. Love you all!!!!!! Dream big!”
So I just wanted to let u know to follow my journey?? @theoliviajordan and thank u for a year of the most love I have ever received.??❤️ But instead I couldn’t stop balling crying every time I tried to take a video…so here is the only one that I put words together between sob sessions.? I am so unbelievably grateful for you all and for the most unforgettable year of my life. Love you all!!!! Dream big!✨
This year’s competition included one particularly resilient contestant, Miss Pennsylvania Elena LaQuatra, who suffered hearing loss as a tiny tot, but has struggled against the odds to get to where she is today.
“Based on my personality, my involvement in all these dance and performance groups, my parents knew that I would want to be in a hearing world,” LaQuatra told USA Today. The pageant contestant received a cochlear implant that allowed her to hear again.
“My parents never let me use my disability as a crutch,” she added. “So I never viewed it that way, or let it define me.… The group of girls we have as Miss USA’s Class of 2016 are phenomenal — Miss District of Columbia is in the Army, Miss Michigan is a nurse for spinal surgery, I have my hearing impairment — we’re so diverse and we’re all involved in so many things outside of pageantry, and those things are what makes us good pageant contestants. And we can relate to the average girl.”
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