In the Bel Canto choir at Coon Rapids High School, junior DaMaris Jones hit a high note this summer when she was crowned the first-ever Miss Juneteenth of Minnesota.
"There are so many expectations for women of color and so me, winning Miss Juneteenth, it's showing young people it's not an expectation, it's just who you are,” Jones said. “You can do anything you set your mind to."
Choir director Amy Johnson said she has seen DaMaris’ alto voice grow stronger over the past three years.
"It was really exciting to hear about it on the first day back this year,” Johnson said. “It was the first thing, big celebration, so really proud of her."
Since DaMaris earned the title of Miss Juneteenth Minnesota back in July, she's been busy making lots of public appearances around the Minneapolis area. She credits her friends and family for their support.
"I would not be able to do it if it wasn't for my family,” Jones said. “They push me to be the best that I can be."
The next step for DaMaris will be to compete in the 2022 National Miss Juneteenth pageant in Galveston, Texas on October 15.
If you'd like learn more about DaMaris Jones and her journey to the national title, check out her gofundme page.