A lawyer from North Carolina ,Cheslie Kryst, was crowned Miss USA 2019. (Miss USA & Miss Teen USA/ Twitter)
Miss North Carolina Cheslie Kryst — a full-time attorney — was crowned Miss USA 2019 during the pageant in Reno, Nevada Thursday night.
Cheslie Kryst graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2013. She was an athlete for four years.
The 27-year-old from Charlotte earned her MBA at Wake Forest University before becoming a civil litigation lawyer who does pro-bono work to reduce sentences for prisoners. She is licensed to practice in two states, according to her Miss USA bio.
North Carolina lawyer is named Miss USA 2019, and Twitter is here for it
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Miss Oklahoma Triana Browne was named second runner-up and Miss New Mexico Alejandra Gonzalez was named first runner-up. This years finalists were an especially diverse group of women, highlighted by Miss New Mexicos speech about immigration.
During the final round of the competition, Kryst said she was happy the pageant was being held in Nevada because it’s the only state in the nation with female majorities in both houses of the state legislature.
Miss USA Pageant: Miss North Carolina Cheslie Kryst wins top prize – Daily Star
Kryst competed against beauty queens who work in a range of fields, including as journalists, entrepreneurs and a physical operations specialist in the US Army reserve.
Miss New Mexico Alejandra Gonzalez was the first-runner up and Miss Oklahoma Triana Browne was the second runner-up.
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Asked in the final round to use one word to summarize her generation, Cheslie Kryst of Charlotte said “innovative.”
“Im standing here in Nevada, in the state that has the first female majority legislature in the entire country,” she said at the event held for the first time in Reno. “Mine is the first generation to have that forward-looking mindset that has inclusivity, diversity, strength and empowered women. Im looking forward to continued progress in my generation.”
New Mexicos Alejandra Gonzalez, the first runner-up, and Oklahomas Triana Browne, the second runner-up, helped highlight the diversity of the competition on stage as the three finalists along with Kryst, who is African American.
Browne said shes a proud member of the Chickasaw Nation whose father is white and mother is African American. Shes in a partnership with Nike to promote a brand that celebrates Native American heritage. Gonzalez, whose mother immigrated to the United States from Mexico, founded a nonprofit that teaches children the importance of being literate.
Nevadas Tianna Tuamoheloa, who made it to the final five, was the first woman of Samoan descent to compete in the event that dates to 1952. Savannah Skidmore, a former state basketball champion from Arkansas who has a second-degree black belt in Taekwondo and is pursuing a law degree, also made the final five.
Kryst and Gonzalez faced each other holding hands during the moments before the winner was announced, then embraced with the news.
1. She placed as the runner-up at the 2019 Miss USA on May 2. Alejandra put her best foot forward throughout the competition. The talented competitor got emotional answering some of the pageant questions, like issues she’d like to see brought up during the United States 2020 presidential election, and what she thinks of the millennial generation.
“I just kept hearing my name get called,” she said. As she waited for the winner to be announced, “All I could think was, This is really cool. “
2. Alejandra’s parents are immigrants. She passionately spoke about her family during the Miss USA 2019 pageant competition, describing how immigration is such an important and personal issue to her. Alejandra’s parents emigrated from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
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Kryst earned a law degree and an MBA at Wake Forest University before becoming a civil litigation attorney who does pro bono work to reduce sentences for inmates. In a videotaped message played during the two-hour event at a hotel-casino, she told a story of when a judge at a legal competition told her to wear a skirt instead of pants because judges prefer skirts.
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She told reporters afterward shell never forget being in law school at Wake Forest participating in a moot court competition in Louisiana with a panel of judges who provided very little feedback to here and her partner.
“We stood there for 30 minutes after practicing for months and all you said was wear a skirt next time?” she said. “It was very frustrating. Dont tell females to wear different clothes while you give the men substantive feedback on their legal arguments.”
Kryst who advances to the Miss Universe competition, was crowned by 2018 Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers of Nebraska. She said her interest in pageants began when she was 10 years old, watching her mother ride a horse-drawn carriage in a parade when she was named Mrs. North Carolina in 2002.
“It was a time in my life when I didnt know who I was and wasnt confident in myself. I was that little weird kid who had a unibrow and didnt have any friends. My hair was always pulled back. I thought I want to be just like her,” she said.
“I cant say pageants make you beautiful. I think they make your more confident in the person that you are,” she said.
“Im still that same weird kid. I still like reading books. And at the end of the day, I like to sit by myself in my house and just watch movies. But I think pageants taught me all that, and my mom was really the one who introduced me to that and drew me to pageantry.”