FCAA Member Builds Foster Awareness Through Pageant Platform

FCAA Member Builds Foster Awareness Through Pageant Platform

FCAA Member Jamerika Haynes competes for National Ms. USA Ambassador title, raises foster care awareness.

On July 29th, Jamerika will compete for the National Ms. USA Ambassador title in Tampa, FL.

I first learned about pageants from watching Miss America. I admired the sparkly gowns, polished on-stage answers and bright stage lights. I too felt like I could be the next Miss America. However once the telecast was over, so was my daydream of being in a pageant.

I was five-years-old when I went into foster care. For the next 13 years, my existence became about survival. However, there were times where I would connect with my dreams. I once told a foster parent that I wanted to be an actress. In school, I tried to be a part of every school play and band recital.

At eighteen, I was living on my own. I enrolled in community college to study journalism and found a part-time job. At school, there was a bulletin board with a flyer to compete in the Miss Pierce County Scholarship Program (MPCSP). “Here’s my chance,” I thought. I went to the orientation and learned it was a local pageant to the Miss America Pageant. I auditioned and was selected to be a part of the 2007 & 2008 pageants.

Through MPCSP, I developed the platform “Empowering Youth in Foster Care.” I volunteered and shared my story with others in hopes of improving the foster care system. I did not win the crown but earned scholarships and developed leadership skills. With my scholarships, I attended and graduated from Washington State University. I became a news reporter and later a resource specialist for foster youth at the YMCA.

Ten years later, I am competing again as Ms. Evergreen State for the 2018 USA Ambassador Pageant. I felt compelled to use my platform to continue advocating for foster youth. I want people to know that foster alumni need community in order to heal and build productive lives.

Jamerika Haynes

Ms. Evergreen State 2018

FCAA Member, Washington State Chapter

Jamerika has been an FCAA member for nearly 10 years in Washington state. She has also served as a volunteer for FCAA National.

Follow Jamerika’s Washington USA Ambassador Pageant journey here!

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