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DSU junior Mia E. Jones is presented as the new 2017 Miss Delaware USA by the outgoing 2016 Miss Delaware USA Alexandra Vorontsova at the end of the pageant held Nov. 26-27 near Wilmington.

  DSU's Mia E. Jones is Crowned the 2017 Miss Delaware USA

DSU is once again represented at the top of a First State pageant as Mia E. Jones, a junior art education major, has won the 2017 Miss Delaware USA crown.

DSU, Miss Delaware USA, Mia Jones   Mia E. Jones, the 2017 Miss Delaware USA

Ms. Jones, of Bear, Del., won the title as the culmination of the Nov. 26-27 Miss Delaware USA Pageant held at the Doubletree Hotel near Wilmington. In addition to reigning as Miss Delaware USA, she will represent the state and compete in the Miss USA Pageant that will take place in the summer of 2017.

It was the second pageant win for Ms. Jones – she was the 2014 Miss Delaware Teen USA, a reign she completed during her fall semester as a DSU freshman. But even with that accomplishment on her resume, she did not take her chances for this year’s pageant for granted.

“I believe everyone is on an even playing field until the judges make their selection,” Ms. Jones said. “In the Miss Delaware USA Pageant, they wanted the top grown-up and mature woman.”

The competition began with the interview round. Next was the swimsuit competition, in which she wore a lime green two-piece outfit. In the evening gown competition, she invoked ancient Rome by wearing a floor length toga gown.

During last category – the final question – she was asked: If a girl came from a foreign country, what would you tell her?  

“My answer was: America is the land of opportunity; so when you come to America, you can believe in your dream,” she said.

Her previous success notwithstanding, she said that she was surprised when she won.

“I thought the first runner-up (Carisa Palumbo of Greenville, Del.) was going to win, because this was her seventh time competing for the Miss Delaware USA crown,” Ms. Jones said.

Contestants between the ages of 18-28 are eligible to compete in the Miss Delaware USA competition.  Ms. Jones has the distinction, however, of winning both the Miss Delaware Teen USA and Miss Delaware USA in her first tries.

DSU, Mia Jones, Miss Delaware USAMia E. Jones is crowned by the outgoing 2016 Miss Delaware USA Alexandra Vorontsova

Competing in pageants requires discipline. She said, “You have to stay healthy and fit. You have to work on yourself,” she said. “You have to know who you are before you step on the stage.”

Ms. Jones is the daughter of Erik and Nneka Jones – both DSU alumni from the classes of ’94 and ’96, respectively. In addition to the support of her parents, Ms. Jones has had other role models and supporters along the way.

Ashley Coleman, a DSU alumna who was both Miss Teen Delaware USA and Miss Teen USA in 1999, was an early inspiration for Ms. Jones. She said that Dr. Francine Edwards, currently the chair of the DSU Department of Mass Communications and the interim dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, was her interview coach as she prepared in 2013 for the Miss Teen Delaware USA competition that year.

As an art education major, Ms. Jones said she aspires to be an art therapist.

“People don’t always remember what you say or do, but they remember how you make them feel,” Ms. Jones said. “I want to touch everyone’s life; that’s why I want to be a teacher.”

In addition to working with children, she said that she also wants to open her own community center for the fine arts.

Outside of her pageant preparation and her DSU studies, Ms. Jones is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the National Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi), the Limitless Fashion Club, and also works as a camp counselor at her home Cornerstone Church.