HAMMOND — Tyron’E Hawkins is on her way to being crowned National American Miss.
Or so she hopes.
The Baton Rouge native and Hammond resident will compete in the National American Miss next month in California.
This will be the first time Hawkins, a competitive dancer since age 2, will compete nationally. Earlier this year, Hawkins was crowed National American Miss for Louisiana, among women ages 19-20, after completing a phone interview, writing an essay and submitting both her picture and a resume.
At age 20, it was her first pageant win and only her second time competing in a pageant.
“It just seemed all really cool so I started to do a lot of research about it (the pageant),” Hawkins said.
Hawkins said she tried out for the pageant to represent Louisiana, and show other girls that they can accomplish their dreams.
“It shows people that it’s always good to experience new things,” Hawkins said.
Her platform is Get Up, Get Moving and Stay Active, which aims to help youths stay active and eat healthy.
According to the Facebook page, the National American Miss is the “No. 1 program in America for growing confidence in girls ages 4-18.”
The National American Miss pageants are dedicated to celebrating America’s greatness and encouraging its future leaders, the Facebook page said.
“Each year, the pageant awards one million dollars in cash, scholarships and prizes to recognize and assist the development of young women nationwide,” the pageant claims on the Facebook page. “Whether this is your first pageant, or you have been in a pageant before, this is the pageant you have been looking for. National American Miss is an opportunity like no other. You’ll gain poise, self-confidence and valuable communication skills. You’ll feel good about yourself and gain the competitive edge to succeed later in whatever field you may choose, from modeling to business.”
The program, Hawkins said, is not affiliated with Miss America or Miss USA.
Hawkins, who attended Baton Rouge High School and graduated from McKinley High School, attends Southeastern Louisiana University, and is also a member of Southeastern’s Dance Perfect Project and Flipside Dance organization. She formerly danced at De Frances Academy of Dance, toured with the Mid City Dance Project in Baton Rouge and performed “The Nutcracker” at the Manship Theatre from 2001-06.
While she didn’t receive the title of National Teen American in 2013, Hawkins did win the talent portion of the competition and received awards for academic achievement and community service work.
In addition to the awards she received from National American Miss, Hawkins has received several proclamations from the Baton Rouge Metro Council and the Leadership Award from the Southeastern Chapter of the NAACP.
A kinesiology major and employee at Southeastern athletics, Hawkins said she plans to specialize in physical therapy for dancers and gymnasts. At 16, Hawkins suffered a knee injury which required surgery. After tearing her ACL and meniscus, doctors told her she wouldn’t dance again, or if she did, not competitively. She returned to dancing with help from a physical therapist.
“If I can be that midway person and help others get back to dancing and do what they love, I want to be that person that makes sure they get to go back to it,” Hawkins said.
She calls her mother, Toni Hawkins, her hero, and her “right leg,” a nickname she coined for her mother following her knee injury.
“There is absolutely nothing she can’t do,” Hawkins said. “She’s everything and more to me. She’s always been my biggest support.”
For information about National American Miss, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/National-American-Miss/55334830897#!/pages/National-American-Miss/55334830897?sk=info.