NEW ALBANY, M.S. — With the world watching and family and friends there to support her, Asya Danielle Branch, a resident of Booneville, Mississippi, competed in “Miss America 2019.” Her win of Miss Mississippi has been greatly celebrated, but Branch’s story starts many years before this competition.
As a young child, Branch went through what no child wants to go through but so many do–her father became incarcerated. His incarceration left Branch’s mother as a single mother to raise four children. This period of tribulation only pushed Branch forward, as now today her platform is to help and inspire children through Empowering Children of Incarcerated Parents. Now, as Miss Mississippi, Branch will have the opportunity to bring her platform and awareness to her home state.
When asked how it felt to be in Atlantic City supporting her close friend Asya Branch, Lainey Stevens of Booneville, MS said, “It is so exciting to see my best friend of 15 years make her dreams a reality. She has worked so hard to get where she is today, and it has been an incredible ride watching her achieve her dreams and goals of life. She has such a beautiful heart, and I am confident that God will use her and the platform on which she stands to help change the world. She’s just getting started!” And just like that, surrounded by the people nearest to her heart, she gracefully took the preliminary stage and represented her state so well–she is Mississippi’s Sweetheart. This past week, Branch was featured in Cosmopolitan’s “8 Women To Watch at This Year’s Miss America.”
Starting in June 2018, The Miss America Organization has rebranded its pageant to “Miss America 2.0.” The main purpose in rebranding comes from a major decision to no longer judge contestants on outward appearances. The bathing suit portion of the competition was dropped, and the evening gown portion was changed to an outfit of choice. In place of these, more judge-contestant interactions will be emphasized.
Branch went to compete in the Miss Mississippi pageant in June 2018. The Miss America Pageant finale was held September 9, 2018.