Who Is Miss USA 2019? Cheslie Kryst of North Carolina Won the Crown

America has a new Miss USA. Miss North Carolina Chelsie Kryst was crowned the winner at the 68th Miss USA pageant in Reno, Nevada, on May 2.

The 28-year-old winner is far more than a pageant queen, though. The woman who beat out 50 other contestants to take home the coveted crown has two advanced degrees, a successful career as an attorney, and is a fashion blogger, among other accomplishments.

She’s an attorney who does pro bono work with inmates

Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst
Cheslie Kryst via Instagram

Kryst is a civil litigation lawyer who also does pro bono work for inmates who were sentenced unjustly, according to her Miss USA bio. She earned both a J.D. and an MBA from Wake Forest University and has a B.S. degree from the University of South Carolina. During the pageant on Thursday night, she said she was happy that the event was held in Nevada because it is the only state with female majorities in both the state senate and state assembly.

She works at Poyner Spruill law firm, according to a profile in the Charlotte Observer. But now that she’s won the Miss USA crown, she plans to take time off from her career and focus on her new responsibilities.

She’s the oldest woman to win the pageant

Kryst beat out first-runner up Alejandra Gonzalez of New Mexico and second-runner up Triana Browne from Oklahoma to win this year’s crown. She was crowned by last year’s winner Sarah Rose Summers of Nebraska.

At 28, Kryst is the oldest woman ever to win the Miss USA pageant. She’ll go on to compete in the 2019 Miss Universe pageant. If she wins that crown, she’d be the first American woman to win the title since Olivia Culpo won in 2012.

The new Miss USA is a pageant veteran. She won her first title in high school, when she was named Miss Freshman at Northwestern High School in Rock Hill, South Carolina. While in law school, she competed twice for the Miss North Carolina title (which leads to the Miss America pageant) and twice for the Miss North Carolina USA title (which leads to Miss USA). Though she always finished near the top of the pack, it wasn’t until last year that she claimed first place and the right to compete in the national pageant.  

Kryst was inspired to try competing in pageants by her mother, who became Mrs. North Carolina US when Kryst was a child.

She’s also a fashion blogger

While her career as an attorney keeps her busy, Kryst also makes time for her fashion blog, White Collar Glam. She started the blog after a judge at a law school competition told her she should wear a skirt, not pants, next time she competed.

Her blog focuses on helping women find stylish, affordable, work-appropriate clothing. Kryst models outfits and shares advice such as what to wear to your office Halloween party, how to mix and match office outfits, and reasons why women should wear their natural hair to work.

Read more: Which Country Has the Most Miss Universe Winners?

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