2018 Miss Maryland Candidate Desna Johnson Tells How The Traumatic Experience Made Her Stronger, After Losing A Part Of Her Family In A Car Crash

She survived. She did. Desna Johnson went through an extremely tragic thing when she was only 8. She lost her mother, brother and grandmother in a car accident that she was also involved in - "I lost three important people in my life and I almost died as well but was blessed to walk away from the car accident with two broken arms. I was broken at the age of eight. I didn't know how I was going to live a happy life without my family until I went to grief counseling and learned how to be better" - she explained.

Traumatic events can rattle us to the core, leaving us in shambles both mentally and physically. But despite all the glaring negatives, traumatic events can also transform us into stronger, better individuals. And this is what happened to Desna Johnson.

Desna now wants to help people who experience continuing difficulties following a traumatic experience, she even launched her own platform called We Grieve Together - "I want to be that beacon of hope for those that are going through a tragedy in their lives that they feel like they can't get better from. I believe that by sharing my story and by helping others I can be that hope and love people need" - she said.

By being crowned Miss Prince George's County 2018 Desna will have the opportunity to compete in the 2018 Miss Maryland Pageant later this year. The Miss Maryland competition is the pageant that selects the representative for the state of Maryland in the Miss America pageant. The state has never won the national title but they grabbed the second place in 1990 with Virginia Cha.

Lets know a little more about Desna's inspiring story and her journey to the crown through this interview!

Tell me something about yourself and your work. What do you actually do, and have done in the past?

I currently work at a daycare. I enjoy working with kids and watch them progress. It brings me joy to watch the kids I help teach grow. I have always worked in the daycare system. I used to be a gymnast. I was a gymnast from the age of 4-17. I was also a dancer and cheerleader in high school and a cheerleader at college. 

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Desna Johnson being crowned Miss Prince George's County 2018 by Miss Maryland 2017 Kathleen Masek. Photo by EandRPhotography

Many misses have said that their dream since a child was to participate in a pageant as prestigious as Miss World (or Miss Universe). It this your case ? And if so, why ?

It actually wasn't my dream to compete In a prestigious pageant. I have always wanted to be a olympic gymnast and wanted to be the best but when I was put into pageantry, it helped me realized how much I loved doing pageants. I have competed in pageants since I was 13 and it has brought me so much joy. From the first time I stepped on a stage at a pageant I knew that I wanted to compete at a prestigious pageant and I am working hard to try to make my dream a reality. 

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Photo by EandRPhotography

Social media seem to play a major role in pageantry nowadays. Do you think this is advantageous to you? Why or why not? 

Yes I do think it is an advantage to me. I am able to use the platform I have to be a role model for those who seem to be struggling through tragedy and for them to see that even though I went through an unimaginable tragedy that I was able to fight through and use that tragedy to make me stronger.

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Did you face any moment of disappointment with yourself during the pageant journey, and how did you overcome it?

Yes. When I was younger and competed in another pageant system I was always 1st runner up. Even though that is something to be proud of, it made me feel like there was something wrong with me that kept me from winning the title. I've always felt that I worked so hard for nothing but when I decided to compete for the last time when I was 17 and still felt a bit defeated I decided to just have fun and I won the title and it helped me realize that no matter what happens weather I win a title or get first runner up or not place in the top ten, pageantry is fun and excited and worth the hard work because it has helped me become stronger and learn more about the person that I am. 

What inspired you to walk on the course of beauty pageants? 

My father was actually the person that pushed me into pageants. He believed that by entering me into pageant it would help me become a confident young women and help me get over my shyness. I'm happy that he put me into pageants because it helped shape me into the confident young woman I am today. 

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What would you advise any young girl out there who has a dream of being a queen one day?

Every young girl is a queen. Embrace that queen inside you . Show the world how beautiful and confident you are and never let anyone tell you that you are not a queen because you are. 

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Thanks to the beautiful Desna for the interview. Pageants News wishes you all the very best for Miss Maryland pageant.