Booneville’s Miss Mississippi USA is now the City of Hospitality and the Magnolia State’s first Miss USA.
Asya Branch, a Booneville native and Booneville High School graduate, brought home the national crown in the annual Miss USA Pageant held Monday evening at Elvis Presley’s Graceland.
The crowning moment was the culmination of years of hard work and competition for Branch who has made her mark in the pageant world competing in the Miss Mississippi America system where in 2018 she claimed the title of Miss Mississippi America before going on to compete for the Miss America title.
Branch won the title of Miss Mississippi USA in 2019 before claiming the top honor at the national pageant which was delayed due to the pandemic. Her Miss Mississippi USA win broke significant ground as she became the first African American winner of the event in its 67-year-history.
She’ll now move on to represent the country in the next Miss Universe Pageant set for a currently unspecified date in December.
The winner drew praise from the crowd and judges throughout the Miss USA competition as she remained among the top competitors throughout the event leading up to her crowning moment.
The daughter of Anthony and Kristal Branch of Booneville, she has often credited her father as the most influential person in her life and has used her pageant career to share a message of hope for other children of incarcerated parents.
Her father was in prison for several years and she has worked to reach out to children in similar situations and be a voice to encourage them to rise above their circumstances.
Branch is a senior at the University of Mississippi studying integrated marketing communications. She is also an entrepreneur who has launched her own line of cosmetics.