By Cesca Janece Waterfield
In front of a live audience of millions, Virginia Commonwealth University journalism student and Miss Virginia Caressa Cameron claimed the Miss America crown at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on January 30, 2010. Judges included Rush Limbaugh and Vivica A. Fox.
As her parents watched, the Fredericksburg resident was awarded a $50,000 college scholarship and immediately embarked on a media tour. She’ll take a yearlong break from her studies at VCU while she carries out her official duties. Caressa is the third Miss Virginia and the eighth African American to win the prestigious title.
The petite beauty has focused on pageant success for years, polishing poise to match her movie star looks and developing skills as a vocalist. Like many title hopefuls, she has even changed residences to aid her pageant goals.
But the prestigious garland is about more than good looks. Miss America is the world’s largest provider of scholarships to young women. And Caressa has worked hard to raise awareness of HIV testing and AIDS. When she was still a teen, Congress recognized her for her efforts to make instant-result HIV testing available to Virginians.
To anyone aspiring to academic success, social responsibility or self-assurance, Caressa Cameron is an inspiring example from right here at home. Congratulations to Caressa!