New Miss GSU says moment is surreal

Honored, blessed, grateful, anxious, and excited are all words I would use to describe how I feel at this very moment. It is still very surreal that I was elected to serve as the 2015-2016 Miss Grambling State University, and I am here, ready to be a catalyst for change!

I am Joiya Smith, the 20-year-old daughter of Veronica Smith and Robert (Vaneda) Smith. I was born in the Grambling and later moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

For  and then to Bogalusa and graduated from Bogalusa High School in 2012. I am currently a junior majoring in the creative field of Digital Arts at Grambling State University serving in many leadership capacities, all while maintaining a 3.5 G.P.A.

Accomplishments include:
Member of Alpha Gamma Art Guild
Miss Sophomore (2013 – 2014)
Intern artist for GSU “Eddie the Tiger” statue (2013)
Junior Class Vice President (2014 – 2015)
NBC Universal Scholar (2014 – 2015)
Thurgood Marshall College Fund Scholar & Ambassador for GSU
President of the Society of Distinguished Black Women
Favrot Student Union Board Member
GSU Football Recruiter/ Tiger Dolls  

At the beginning of the month, I launched my campaign “Destination 62, Anchored in GSU”, as I strived to be elected as the 62nd Miss Grambling State University. Campaigning can be very stressful, but I was blessed to have a great support system (#The62Crew) to help me achieve my dream.

My platform consisted of seven different tactics that we as a student body need to improve. Pride, Recruitment, Retention, Graduation, Self-Esteem, Unity and Greatness, were the “Seven Seas to Sail with Smith.” I have no problem with being held accountable to my platform, because I will execute it to the best of my ability.

I want to congratulate Dawn Clements and Yarica Charleston on a race well run. What we faced was not easy, and not everyone has the chance to experience those tasks. I learned that both of you are spiritually anchored, and that is exactly why so many more doors will be opened for you, my queens. You girls are supportive and amazing individuals, and I pray that God grants you both all the desires of your heart!

Moving forward, it excites me to work with my new Royal Court, Miss Junior Genesis Williams, and Miss Sophomore Noelle Barnes. Along aside my dear friend, Jonathan Wallace, we will impact our beloved, great university. Tell us your concerns, let us be your voice, and trust us to take action. We are in a rebuilding stage and with your help GRAMBLING STATE UNIVERSITY will remain on top!