The Zeta Delta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. hosted its annual Miss Black & Gold scholarship pageant on Nov. 10. This event celebrates the hard work women have demonstrated while being students at Michigan State University.
Communications senior and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity member Brandon Foster said the Miss Black & Gold scholarship pageant is important because the Black community at MSU acknowledges talent, academic excellence, fashion and the leadership of Black women at MSU.
“It showcases diversity, inclusion and leadership within the Black community,” Foster said. “Each of these women are setting a positive blueprint for our people on our campus. They are involved in honor societies, campus organizations and doing hard work within their major.”
As family, friends and supporters gathered around in the conference room of the Kellogg Hotel Center, psychology senior and host Joya Bailey introduced the six contestants to the intimate audience.
The audience watched in awe as the six women showcased their talents by singing Broadway, presenting their art, reciting self-written monologues representing their determination, performing comedy, singing and more.
The event closed out with a last category discussing humanitarian topics. Each contestant was asked to share their perspective on immigration policies and ways countries could balance security and humanitarian concerns.
Judges counted their scores for each contestant and came to a decision to crown the women. The winners of the Miss Black & Gold scholarship pageant are as follows:
Miss Talent: Niya Bush
Miss Congeniality: Ebony Battle
Miss Gold: Da’Veeda Fitih-Turner
Miss Black: Alexis Parson
Miss Black & Gold: Jenessa Ediagbonya
Being ecstatic from winning the Miss Black & Gold title and scholarship, Ediagbonya said getting ready for the pageant was a whirlwind of emotions. She said her pageant sisters were there to rely on as their encouragement pushed her to improve in several ways.
“There were many times where I felt I wasn’t allowing myself to enjoy the moment and just thinking way too far ahead,” Ediagbonya said. “This title will give me a larger platform to help continue to make a meaningful impact in my community.”