Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Madam Ambassador

December 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Highlights

Ciara White-Sparks represents Las Vegas on the world stage.

Ciara White-Sparks

Ciara White-Sparks was crowned the 2017 Miss Black Teen US Ambassador at the national pageant in Orlando, Florida. The Las Vegas native — and senior at East Career and Technical Academy — received a $5,000 scholarship and travels around the world, among other prizes.

“My pageant is basically a pageant system for young African-American ladies from around the country between 14 and 28 years of age,” she said. “There is a teen category and a ‘Miss’ category for the ladies in their twenties. We hold true as change agents for black people and communities around the country. We advocate for causes that are really important to black people and the places we live.”

The Miss Black US Ambassador and Miss Black Teen US Ambassador Scholarship Pageant is a program of Ambassador of Change Inc. Its mission is to give a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young African-American women to serve as ambassadors of change. The purpose of the organization is to be a rising voice in the community — and to make a difference by providing educational forums and events that focus on health disparities, poverty, violence, and major issues plaguing the African American community.

According to White-Sparks, a friend sent her a link to learn more about the pageant that led to her crown.

“I was doing pageants for a while and took a small break because of school,” she explained. “But a good friend of mine who lives in South Carolina told me about the pageant and sent me the link. I researched it and filled out an application. I received a call from pageant founder and Chief Executive Officer, Patrice Harrison, and she indicated that there wasn’t a state pageant in Nevada — but encouraged me to represent my state and to compete at Nationals in Orlando. It was so exciting meeting other young women representing their states from around the country at the national pageant. I competed with a community service presentation, private interview, fitness, evening gown and onstage question at the competition. I was so excited to actually win, and now represent Nevada as an ambassador for good.”

With plans to attend Spelman College, White-Sparks’ platform is centered on congenital heart conditions and defects. She has suffered from acute heart problems since age 8, and lost her father in 2015 to cardiac failure.

“I have established my own foundation called the ‘Sparks Heart Foundation’ in honor of my father and it is dedicated to spreading awareness and finding financial support for treatment,” she said. “I stay involved in my community by advocating for physical fitness, participating in the breast cancer walks, and staying involved with the Lung Cancer Organization. But my main concentration is advocating for heart health.”

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