Tre’Kwan Raynor

(Rock Hill, S.C.) — Friends, family and fellow students came together to watch six Winthrop University students compete for a scholarship in the annual miss NAACP pageant Nov. 30 in the Tillman Hall auditorium.

The ladies sported different outfits, showed their skills and displayed some rehearsed choreography.

“NAACP hosts this pageant every year to give one lucky girl a chance at a scholarship for $500,” said Zaria Washington, president of the Winthrop chapter of the NAACP.

The event also attempted to give back to the community, by donating some of the proceeds from the pageant to a nearby charity for the first time.

“We also started a new thing where we donated half of our ticket sales to Pilgrim’s Inn women’s and children’s homeless shelter,” said Washington.

The pageant featured four categories with ladies participating in casual wear, evening wear, special talents and a question and answer segment.

“What I like about the pageant is coming out, seeing all of the beautiful young ladies, best dressed, showing their talents,” said Ronnie Best, a Winthrop senior.

Christian Brock, freedom fund chair of the Winthrop NAACP, was responsible for running the pageant and getting all of the contestants ready for the show.

“The process for the show was not the easiest but it was fun. The girls were very energetic, they were very dedicated and I just loved meeting all of them,” said Brock.

She said the participants were required to practice every day the week of the pageant, which helped the show run more smoothly.

Christal Ross was crowned Miss NAACP and she said she was ecstatic about the opportunity.

“I’m thankful to God, because without him this wouldn’t even be possible. I’m thankful to NAACP for this opportunity,” she said.

Ross said the question and answer portion of the pageant made her the most nervous.

“The part that really tripped me up was probably the interview questions, because you never know what you’re going to get because you pick out of a bowl. I didn’t think I was completely prepared for it. I just gave it my best shot,” said Ross.