Leondra Head | Local & World Editor
Hampton University’s Delaria Ridley is making a name for herself in the pageant world, most notably competing for Miss Virginia USA as Miss North Hampton USA.
Ridley is a senior strategic communications major from Atlanta and has been competing in pageants since 15 years old.
“My experience while participating in the pageant was absolutely amazing. I gained a great network of women. Pageants truly allow you to meet women from all walks of life. It was great [competing] in another state.”
Ridley’s platform was HOPSCOTCH K!DS, Helping Others Play.
Her purpose was to encourage young men and women to pursue their dreams without limits by giving them the tools they need to succeed.
Leading up to the pageant, practice kept Ridley busy to prepare for the big night.
“Oh, boy! Practice was three hours for four days a week. Practice included walking lessons, interview prep and exercising daily.”
Ridley maintained a healthy diet months prior to the pageant to prepare herself. “My diet consisted of high protein and vegetable intake. I limited my carb intake to about 30-45 a day.”
Ridley started competing at a young age in 2010 as a contestant in the National Miss Pageant. In high school, she competed for Miss Georgia Teen USA.
Ridley is from Georgia and is still a resident of the “peach state.” Miss Virginia USA is her 7th pageant and 5th state pageant. Although Ridley did not place, she plans to return home to compete for Miss Georgia USA in the future.
“I plan to return back to the place I call home to compete! Georgia is where my roots are and I would love to compete and hopefully represent the state that has contributed to my development as a woman.”
Throughout Ridley’s experience, she received advice and guidance from Miss Tennessee USA 2015 and Hampton alumna, Kiara Young.
Forty-five contestants competed in the pageant that was held at the Tidewater Community College’s Roper Theater in Downtown Norfolk.
The portions of the competition were evening gown, swimsuit, interview and an on-stage question.