Ayana Evans | Staff Writer
At the annual pageant on Oct. 6 in Ogden Hall, Brooklyne Baker, a senior journalism major from Richmond, became the 60th young woman to take home the crown and title of Miss Hampton University.
Baker’s love for HU is what made her want to run for the honor. After an interview round, swimwear round, talent round and contestant performances, Baker had achieved her goal.
“Being Miss Hampton means everything to me,” Baker said. “I prayed for it every day. I fasted for it. I feel like I did everything in my power to give my best.”
Baker’s mom was a first-generation Hamptonian and enjoyed her college years at HU, so she always instilled the importance of Hampton and its history in Baker as she was growing up.
“Hampton is so important to me, and becoming Miss Hampton is such a milestone for me because I shouldn’t even be here financially,” Baker said. “My mom and I have given everything for me to be here, which is why I told her [that] if I’m going to be here, I’m going to touch as many lives as I can.”
Baker believes Hampton cultivated her into the leader and woman she is today.
While Miss Hampton not only represents the school as a whole, she also represents the standard of a Hampton woman. The definition of the term “Hampton woman” depends on each woman’s personality.
“A Hampton woman is a woman of excellence, a woman of grace [and] a God-fearing woman [who has] a presence in every room,” Baker said. She added that it’s “standing out, but still being humble and not making others feel inferior.”
Baker has been involved in The Greer Dawson Student Leadership Program, New Era Modeling troupe, Ebony Fire and many more student activities throughout her years at Hampton.
Baker’s gift of service makes her stand out. She is passionate about female empowerment and self-love. Her platform is The Good Girl Movement, which started a year ago as a blog. Now, it has expanded to campus organizations at Mississippi State University and Shenandoah University.
The organization is involved in community service and bonding events. Baker explained that The Good Girl Movement is about redefining what it means to be “good.”
“I don’t believe in women being limited,” Baker said. “It’s all about being a multi-layered black woman. It is also about highlighting incredible black women because in the black community, we are prone to negativity and need to be shown in a more positive light.”
Despite the confidence she has today, Baker was not as sure of herself as a child.
“Everyone thought I was so confident when I was really so insecure,” Baker said. “I hated myself. I know how it feels to be so low and not love yourself, which is why I push self-love — because once you realize your full potential, you can touch so many other people.”
As girls in high school and in college still deal with low self-confidence and high self-doubt, Baker wants to be able to advise as many young girls as she can.
Our newly crowned Miss Hampton is still blossoming. She has big plans for this school year and is more than ready to set the standard. Her passion, determination and drive will continue allowing her to accomplish anything she sets her heart on. Brooklyne Baker will undoubtedly leave behind a legacy as the 60th Miss Hampton University.