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Miss California USA Candidate Jazmine Graham Raises Awareness About The Devastating Effects Caused By HIV/AIDS in Africa

The AIDS epidemic is one of the most destructive health crises of modern times, ravaging families and communities through-out the world. Since the start of the epidemic, an estimated 78 million people have become infected with HIV and 35 million people have died of AIDS-related illnesses. The vast majority of people living with HIV are located in low- and middle- income countries, with an estimated 25.5 million living in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Jazmine Graham, who'll be competing for the crown of Miss California USA 2018, wants to use her voice to raise awareness about the devastating effects caused by HIV/AIDS, Wars and Poverty in Africa. She's been a resilient trailblazer and authentic volunteer for the California based non-profit organization The ASHÉ Foundation since she was eleven years old; helping to raise over a half million dollars in monetary and in-kind donations. The foundation is committed to changing the lives of the millions of women and children in African nations.

Jazmine is a rising International R&B/Pop solo recording artist who has a passion for maintaining artistic integrity as a musical entertainer, model, and philanthropist.  She is currently attending the Southern California nationally ranked evangelical Christian college, Biola University, where she is studying Sociology and Psychology and plans to obtain her PhD in this field someday. 

She loves that California is a state strongly committed to serving displaced, disadvantaged, underprivileged and under served communities - "As Miss California USA I would bring dedication to helping others understand the way the social world works and how it might be rehabilitated for the better; illuminating and celebrating our leaders who rally the communities to create positive social change both domestically and internationally" - she explained.

This year alone she has competed for additional regional USA pageants and placed Top 10 for Miss Santa Monica USA, Top 10 for Miss North Hollywood USA, Top 10 for Miss Malibu/Beverly Hills USA and 3rd Runner Up & Miss Photogenic for Miss Laguna Beach USA. She is being coached by the official recruiter for Miss California USA Kristen Bradford, who has exclusively coached and dressed the last four Miss California USA winners including the current Miss California USA 2017, India Williams and first runner up Miss Teen California USA 2017, Samantha Ramos. 

I had the opportunity to interview the beautiful Jazmine on her pageant experience and on her preparation for the Miss California USA Contest. Lets know a little more about her below!

 

You competed in the Miss Laguna Beach USA Contest. What is your most memorable moment from the pageant ? Did you face any moment of disappointment with yourself during the pageant journey, and how did you overcome it?

I recently competed for the first every Miss Laguna Beach USA under the direction of Kristen Bradford (official pageant recruiter for Miss California USA) and my most memorable moment was back stage preparing to hit the stage in my gorgeous bodycon white dress.  My self and two other pageant beauties started twerking with no music to get hype about gracing the stage and becoming the 1st Miss Laguna Beach.

I placed 3rd runner up and won Miss Photogenic,  which was an honor in itself.  There was really no disappointment in myself, as I believed I gave 100%.  The competition was tough.  Every queen on that stage that night had the high potential of taking home the crown.  Each pageant, I continue to grow.  So I just tell myself, my season to bring come the crown is near.  I also have a fan that reminds me before and after each pageant that I am already a Queen and that I already wear the crown proud.  That fan is my day one from day one, my mother.

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Hair/Make-Up/Photo Credit:  The Foundation Studios by Lisa G Artistry

You will compete at the California USA Pageant. How will you prepare the contest ?

I am extremely excited to be competing for the title of Miss California USA 2018, December 1-3 in Long Beach, California.  Preparation consist of a healthy diet, exercise and gallons upon gallons of lemon water for the next 60 days. I am trying to squeeze in a hip hop dance class at least once a week. However, being a full time student in my junior year of college, working part time for JovaniLA, getting in a hip hop dance class once a week on top of hitting the UFG gym 4x a week, is going to come with some potential obstacles.  However,  I am up for the challenge.

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Photo Credit: Rapheal Photo

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

My first advise would be the same advise my mom gives me often, "remember first and fore most, you are a Queen now, then and always.  A title and crown does not define you."   I would also tell her that "team work makes the dream work".  So make sure you have a strong dedicated team around you at all times.  This team should not be made up of individuals that are going to tell you only what you want to hear.  Your team should include those who are going to challenge you and push you even when you get tired and disappointed that you didn't bring home the crown this time.  I would also tell that young princess that the queen starts with having a servant's heart as we are put on this earth to serve and make a difference.  A great leader is an awesome follower and servant first.  That's what a Queen is made up of.

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Photo Credit: Joseph Han

We’ve all seen the stereotypical portrayals of pageant contestants, a la Miss Congeniality, spreading peace, love and beauty throughout the world. How do you think you'll make a difference ?

Yes, those are the "stereotypical portrayals of pageant contestants", but isn't that the formula that we should want to duplicate?  It says LOVE and not Hate to me.  Having the heart to spread peace, love and beauty starts well before you become a pageant contestant or at least it should.  Those characteristic start at home.  At least that's where they should start and that's were mine started.  My parents trained me early about the importance of humility and serving the community. My first form of humility was washing the feet of the homeless on Skid Row in Los Angeles, CA at 11 years old.  Therefore, I believe that I have a clear understanding what it means to truly serve and have compassion for the under served, disadvantage, under privileged which will be a great asset to making a difference in this world.  Behaviors are taught.  So if we can teach people to hate, then we should be able to teach them to spread peace, love and beauty,  Right?   That's my plan as the next Miss California/Miss USA/Miss Universe.  That's our purpose while we are temporarily hear on earth.

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Photo Credit: J. Elizalde Media

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

To be honest, my mom use to do pageants in her younger days.  However, her experience was short lived and she was not a huge fan of continuing on to pursue it.  I only learned of this (her pageant experience) a few years ago, when a local pageant director discovered me on LA Casting.  I mentioned this casting notice to my mom and she was like, "do you really want to try this".  I was like "yes".  So we attended the orientation.  At first I felt a little out of place and begin to think that maybe  this was not for me.  I even got in the car after attending one of the rehearsals that was a few days before the pageant itself and started crying, saying to my mom, "I change my mind. I don't fit in, I don't belong here".  At that moment, my mom looked me straight in the face and with so much love and compassion (I knew God was speaking through her) said "you do belong here, not for the title or crown, but for the experience of a life time that you will have and never forget.  For the wonderful friends you are going to make and for the lessons you will learn that will help you become an even better servant and leader in your community".  From there, I graced that pageant stage knowing that I am right where I need to be and I am excited for the doors that will open for me to make a difference in this world.

Your favorite beauty queen ?

OMG!!  There are so many.  I just can't name one, but lets just start with the present phenomenal queens of California;  Miss California USA 2017 Indie Williams

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As well as the 2016 Miss California USA Nadia Mejia

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Then we have to move on to Miss USA 2015 Olivia Jordan  and Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber and of course the current Miss USA 2017 Kara McCullough.  Now we go universal, both the current Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere and 2015 Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach. I would have to say Vanessa Williams as well, who was crowned the first African American recipient of the Miss American title in 1983.  To be honest they are all my favorites  from the past to the present crowned queens to the future crowned queens like myself.  Each of those women exemplify that their crown starts within first and to me that makes them my favorite.

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Thanks to the beautiful Jazmine for the interview. Pageants News wishes you all the very best for Miss CA USA pageant.

Make sure you follow Jazmine on all social media platforms @iamjazgraham

 

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