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Heather Swann is crowned MISS DC USA | Arts & Culture

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Heather Swann is crowned MISS DC USA
Heather Swann is crowned MISS DC USA

When  Miss DC USA pageant director, Althea Smith asked me to be the last female judge for the Miss DC competition, I was ecstatic and of course said "YES".  I hadn't ever done anything like this before and the experience was a ton of fun.  The most suprising part of the competition was how much love and support the girls gave each other. Even though it was a competition, the sisterhood they belong to makes it more like a family than a contest.
 
So last Sunday at the JW Marriott (official home of the Miss DC pageant), I got to judge along with former Miss Universe, Chelsi Smith and former Miss DC, Candace Allen.  This year marks the 60th anniversary of Miss Universe Organization.  The young women who compete in the system come from all walks of life and share one common trait: A strong desire to work hard and do their best no matter what the undertaking. They have strength, grace and poise. Winning this competition means a ticket to the Miss USA pageant, a chance to embark on a year of world travel, working with incredible non-profit organizations, attending red carpet events and experiencing unforgettable moments, an opportunity of a lifetime.
 
The  pageant was hosted by Shauntay Hinton, Miss USA 2002,currently a television host and actress.   The winner of the pageant, Heather Swann, age 22 is a student at Howard University and describes herself as Considerate, Passionate and Compassionate. The winner of the Miss Teen DC USA pageant is Imani Bentham, a sophomore at the George Washington University and she describes herself as bold, compassionate and determined.
 
I also get the opportunity to have my office, Aesthetic Dental Spa, sponsor Heather Swann's smile for the Miss USA pageant. Now a team of  fellow pageant contestants, former winners, Althea Smith and many others are going to prepare Heather and Imani for a chance to represent DC on a National level at the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants next year.