NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Titans second-year cheerleader, Kiara, was crowned Miss Tennessee USA 2015 on Oct. 4 and will represent the state of Tennessee at the Miss USA pageant next spring. The pageant was held at Austin Peay State University and 36 women from across the state competed for the title.
"The competition was intense," said Kiara. "I still can't believe I won. It really is a dream come true!"
Kiara (@RealMissTNUSA) began competing in pageants at the age of 18 as a way to earn scholarships for college. In her first attempt, she won the Miss Magic City pageant and competed in Miss Alabama (via the Miss America pageant series) several times throughout her undergraduate years.
"I earned thousands of dollars in scholarship money during my pageant career," she said. "The hard work paid off in more ways than just in earning a crown."
The Miss Tennessee pageant was Kiara's fourth attempt to achieve her ultimate goal of taking part in the Miss USA pageant. Previously, she competed in her home state of Alabama, ultimately placing 3rd Runner Up in the Miss Alabama USA pageant.
Kiara moved to Nashville in 2012 to attend Meharry Medical College after completing her bachelor's degree in biological sciences from Hampton University. Last May, she finished her Masters of Science degree in public health with a concentration in environmental health.
After the Miss USA Pageant concludes, Kiara plans to study for the MCAT to become a pediatric gastroenterologist, and eventually wants to open a pediatric office in an underserved community. In the meantime, she will work with the Miss USA charities, including Best Buddies, Gilda's Club, USO, and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. Additionally, Kiara hopes to use her title bring awareness to some issues that are important to her personally, including heart disease and breast cancer awareness.
"As a future healthcare professional, the overall health and well-being of all people is an issue that I will dedicate much of my time to this year," Kiara said.
Titans cheerleader, Kiara, was recently crowned Miss Tennessee USA 2015 and will represent the state of Tennessee at the Miss USA pageant next spring.