JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi is in the national spotlight today thanks to 22-year-old Asya Branch. She is the new Miss USA and the first Mississippian to win the title. .
Asya Branch is emotional as her dream comes true Monday night in Memphis, Tennessee.
She is now Miss USA 2020.
“It still feels unreal. In the moment I kind of just blanked and once this hit me, I was like this actually happened, WOW, I am Miss USA.”
Branch has checked off a lot of firsts and she is only 22-years-old.
She became the first African American to be named Miss Mississippi USA and now the first Mississippian to win this Miss USA Crown.
But Branch admits the competition was not easy.
“It very challenging because you have to think there are 51 truly incredible, talented, intelligent driven women all vying for the same title. Anyone of them would have made an incredible Miss USA, so just knowing, and just going to it hopeful I had so much peace in my heart about it. I knew what was meant to be would happen and one lucky person would step into their destiny,” said Branch.
Branch is from Booneville. She is the 6th of 8 siblings and at the age of 10 her father was sent to prison.
Since then, she has championed causes such as prison reform.
“I will continue to work against prison and criminal justice reform. I also want to continue to spread positivity and focus on how we can come together as a nation and really focus on the positives instead of the negatives,” said Branch.
As Branch prepares to move to New York to continue her duties, she says she will always be a Mississippi girl in her heart.
“It is an honor to represent my home state. I just want to say I am honored to be the first Miss Mississippi USA to bring home the Miss USA title.”