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To be young, beautiful, intelligent and Black: Tina DeNard cultivate young girls

To be young, beautiful, intelligent and Black: Tina DeNard cultivates young women [photo courtesy of Tina DeNard/Miss Black Illinois USA; used with permission]
Tina DeNard, Miss Black Illinois USA

Through the world of pageantry, Executive Director Tina DeNard develops young women to fulfill their purpose in life. Over the years, the Miss Black Illinois Pageant has cultivated many Black girls to become productive young women through stressing the importance of education, confidence in oneself and striving for excellence in every area of their lives. The young ladies who have participated in the Miss Black Illinois Pageant and have benefitted from the no-nonsense approach of Tina DeNard are able to reach back and help other young ladies that are in need of mentorship.

Most would think that the world of pageantry is all about glitz and glamour. To the contrary, the Miss Black Illinois Pageant has built their organization upon giving back and community service. Each young lady is required to participate. A lot of Black girls have lived their lives dealing with some of the most unimaginable circumstances and to know that someone is there to help them get on the right track is very significant. If each person could go back and help just one person within their neighborhood, it would make a world of difference. It only takes someone who is willing to share the knowledge they have obtained to navigate through life's ups and downs.

Tina DeNard's ability to be influential in so many Black girls' lives comes from her own passion and drive to seek for excellence within herself. DeNard's career is expansive and incompasses being a Professional Personal Trainer, Fitness Coach, Speaker, licensed Evangelist, CEO of Body by Tina D. and a former Chicago Bulls Luv-a-Bull cheerleader. The discipline and hard work she has maintained throughout her career she has used to lead the Miss Black Illinois Pageant organization.

In the face of all odds, these young ladies who have tapped into the resources made available through the Miss Black Illinois organization have matured into cultured young women. The accomplishments of the young ladies do not go unrewarded. Winner of the Miss Black Illinois Pageant is awarded a scholarship to further their education, round-trip airfare and accommodations to the National Pageant, photo shoot and so much more. To attend the upcoming Miss Black Illinois Pageant, held at the historical Chicago DuSable Museum of African American History on Oct. 25, visit their website for more information.

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