Princess Williams was recently crowned Miss UNCF Claflin University and will travel to Atlanta to compete in the national Miss UNCF Pageant in early February.
“It was nerve racking and fun at the same time. It made me grow a lot as a person,” Williams said of the pageant experience. “I feel great in representing Claflin and an organization like the UNCF, which helps young people achieve their career goals."
Through her efforts, Williams raised more than $1,300 for the United Negro College Fund, the nation’s largest and most successful higher education assistance organization for minorities. Claflin holds the pageant annually to raise funds for the UNCF.
Williams, who is from Pineland, S.C., said she raised the funds through hard work and persistence. She said that the opportunity to help support the UNCF sold itself to potential donors. “I didn’t want to take no for an answer,” she said.
On Thursday, Jan. 24, Williams won the title while Rodricka Gooch, a freshman marketing major from North Augusta, Georgia, was named Miss Pre-Alumni Council by a panel of judges. Sophomore biology major Brittany Thompson of Rock Hill, S.C. was first runner-up.
Williams said it was a “great feeling” to wear the crown and said the experience was rewarding because, for the first time, she stepped out of her comfort zone. She enjoyed becoming friends with the other contestants and the confidence she gained from the pageant.
“I want to grow more and become more active on campus and in the community. It’s my quest to gain as much knowledge as I can while networking and meeting all kinds of people,” she said her pageant win.
Over the last six decades, the UNCF has raised more than $2 billion to help over 300,000 minority students attend college. The UNCF also provides operating funds and technology enhancement services for 39 Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Claflin’s affiliation with the UNCF began in 1984. Since becoming a member, the University has raised more than $1 million from its annual UNCF campaigns.