Miss USA Asya Branch back in her home state to crown Miss Mississippi USA 2021

Branch is preparing for Miss Universe competition in May
Updated: Mar. 11, 2021 at 11:14 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - It has been a historic year for Miss USA Asya Branch.

She was the first African American to win the Miss Mississippi USA title and then the first young woman from this state to win Miss USA. She talked with us Thursday afternoon about the competition for Miss Mississippi USA 2021 in Tunica.

Branch shares the historic year for her. She was the first African American to win Miss MS USA...
Branch shares the historic year for her. She was the first African American to win Miss MS USA and the first contestant from this state to win the national title.(WLBT)

Asya Branch is used to being on stage. She was Miss Mississippi in 2018. Branch won the national title of Miss USA in November 2020 several months after the competition was scheduled to take place due to COVID-19.

Branch said, “Being able to make history twice was such a blessing. You know, I’m grateful to be able to have these experiences and these opportunities. It all happened like you said so soon together and so I’m just so grateful and I think everything happens for a reason so I’m hoping that I’m able to fulfill my purpose through this title and really make a lasting impact.”

She has lived in New York since winning Miss USA, but is back home to crown the young woman who will represent this state as Miss Mississippi USA 2021.

Branch said, “You know, it’s a bittersweet moment. A bittersweet weekend because you know it brings me back and gives me all those memories once again of being here in 2019 and how far it’s taken me to where I am now and so I’m just reminiscing on it all and you know I’m just super blessed and super grateful to be here.”

Miss USA says she continues to work as an advocate for criminal justice reform. Her father went to prison when she was young. She especially hopes to help children with parents who are behind bars.

Branch has lived in New York since she was crowned Miss USA in November.
Branch has lived in New York since she was crowned Miss USA in November.(Greenwood Productions)

“I don’t want this to be a forgotten topic. You know, I’ve been bringing it to light for so long and I want to make sure it stays there. And even though it’s COVID and I can’t go into prisons and I can’t meet face to face with these people I feel like virtually I can still make an impact. I can still make sure that people are gaining that awareness,” Branch said.

Branch shared some of her winnings as the national title holder.

“You’re employed by the organization so you know you’re paid as an employee. And also, once my reign is up I’ll have a one year lease on a Porsche SUV. So I’m super excited about that one,” said Branch.

Miss Mississippi USA 2021 will be crowned Saturday night.

Miss USA lives in New York during her reign. She will compete in Miss Universe in May in Hollywood, Florida.

Branch says there are usually about 90 countries represented at Miss Universe but due to COVID about 70 countries are participating in Miss Universe this year.

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