Last weekend, Georgia Cyber Academy’s (GCA) pageant star, Damácia Howard, was crowned 2017 Miss Southern Sweetheart’s Atlanta Supreme Queen (the overall winner of the 13-18 age division). She was also awarded with “Best Smile” in the 13-15 age division.
The judging panel included notable celebrities like actress Sharon Conley of “The Blind Side;” fashion blogger and GQ Insider Vincent Martinez; D’anne Heckert, group publisher of Modern Luxury Magazine; award-winning hairstylist Steve Hightower; and Ashley Carestia, owner of Luxury Dog Boutique.
“It feels amazing! I went into this competition not knowing much about the format at all, but I won!” Damácia said. “The judges saw something in me that stood out, and for that I am truly grateful.”
Damácia’s GCA teachers weren’t able to come out to support her at this specific event because she entered the competition late. GCA staff members were, however, able to attend her farewell as National American Miss 2016 Miss Georgia Pre-Teen.
“When I gave my farewell as National American Miss 2016 Miss Georgia Pre-Teen, our interim head of school Veronica Clemons came out and supported me,” Damácia said. “I was so honored that she was able to attend and represent GCA!”
Damácia will have the opportunity to further promote her platform of literacy awareness and continue to partner with the organization Books for Africa, where she collects and donates books to the students in Africa.
“The organization [Miss Southern Sweetheart] knows about my platform and I am free to continue my service, promoting literacy awareness and working with Books for Africa,” Damácia said. “They will also learn more about what I do, and I’m hoping to get some of my new sister queens to join me on one of my deliveries.”
This summer has been about big achievements for Damácia, and she will soon top it off with beginning her first year of high school as a ninth grader at GCA!
“I am excited and a little nervous about the new school year, because I will officially be in high school,” Damácia said. “Excited because I’m almost done and nervous because it’s a new journey with more rigorous work. I am, however, ready for the challenge.”
For the rest of the summer, Damácia will be speaking to youth groups about accomplishing dreams, working on a book drive, attending an intensive pageant preparatory workshop with Miss USA 2016 DeShauna Barber, Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell, Miss Georgia USA 2017 Deanna Johnson, Miss Georgia Teen USA 2017 Taylor Ward, Miss Georgia USA 2016 Emanii Davis, and Miss United States 2015 Summer Priester, while learning from some of the best in pageantry.