PORT ALLEN, LA (WAFB) - Jumyria Jones is a Port Allen High School cheerleader. School nights are spent on practicing those flips, jumps and cheers and doing homework. But Jumyria Jones has another interest that has won her a first-ever crown.
Jones is the first "Miss Black West Baton Rouge Talented Teen." It is a new competition and no one has ever worn this crown. She won the pageant and now represents the whole parish. With all the teen chores she's currently juggling, I asked "Why do a pageant?"
"This is my first one," she said. "I thought it would be a positive thing to do and it would develop my self-esteem as a young lady."
The word "Talented" in her title is as much an age category as the significant talent portion of her competition. This contest is part of the larger "Miss Black USA Scholarship Pageant." The age groups in her contest were "Ms," "Talented Teen," "Junior Teen" and "Princess," who can be as young as 5 years old.
Jones used her obvious gifts in cheerleading as her talent presentation in the pageant. The music was a medley of tunes she picked out. Besides talent, Jumyria said these were categories of competition: fitness wear, onstage questions, a community service event and personal interviews. She says she always has supporters when she does something because her two brothers are very supportive. Justin, 19, and William, 10, are cheerleaders for Jumyria, she says.
Beyond the pageant performance, Jones says, "I'll go to community events. Like Port Allen will be having a centennial this year and a parade. I'll go and be very involved."
She says it's those kind of events that make her the most proud of the parish in which she lives. "I'm proud of how whenever we have community events, everyone comes together and celebrate together as one."
Jones hopes that you'll participate in a community project she's hosting this month. "I have a Cancer Walk. It supports my platform as queen," she says, "I would like to create awareness for cancer and health issues. It's going to be at the William and Lee Park in Port Allen at 1 p.m. on September 24. You can go online to the website and you can sign up and then you seek donations for the hospital (St. Jude Children's Research Hospital) and for research."
So what lies in the future for this teen handling so much at a time? Upon graduation from Port Allen High, Jones wants to grab the textbooks again for law school. Recent events have definitely been on her mind... " I want help create justice for society. Because I know in today's world harm is an issue and police brutality."
Jones competes in November on the state level. And if she wins state, she'll compete for a higher title up in Washington, DC.