Asya Branch

Miss All-America City

Hometown:   Booneville, MS

Platform:       Empowering Children of Incarcerated Parents

Talent:           vocal

What college did you attend, or are currently attending?  University of Mississippi

What is your major?  Broadcast Journalism

What is your scholastic ambition?  To acquire a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and pursue a Juris Doctor degree in Law

List scholastic honors: Recipient of Academic Excel Scholarship; Hall of Fame, Mississippi Scholar Honor Graduate

Greatest non-academic accomplishment:  Winning the Lifestyle & Fitness Preliminary at Miss Mississippi 2016

What is your favorite style of music?  My iTunes playlists ranges from Thomas Rhett to Beyoncé; I have a diverse taste in music

What is your favorite movie genre and why?  Action/Suspense. I love the intense sensation that keeps me intrigued and on the edge of my seat

What is your favorite gadget? iPhone

What is your favorite blog? The Huffington Post

What is your favorite place to visit?  Michigan. It’s where my extended family resides

What is your favorite food? Juicy, ripe pomegranates and grapefruits

If you were on a deserted island, what book would you want with you?  My Bible, not only for quality reading, but for inspiration and spiritual guidance in the circumstances in which I would find myself.

Do you twitter? Yes. Follow me @asyadanielle

What is your favorite?

Sport: Basketball                              Sports Team:  Golden State Warriors

Actor:  Will Smith                            Actress:   Rachel McAdams

Television Program:  Grey’s Anatomy

Wardrobe Accessory:  Every outfit has to have an awesome pair of earrings

Thing to do on a weekend:  Enjoy the great outdoors

Way to spend a day off:    Watching my favorite tv series or movies on Netflix

What is your hometown like?  My hometown is full of caring and friendly people and a small haven for retirees or those who simply want a safe place to reside. Booneville reminds me of a large family; everyone knows everyone, and we all support each other

What were you like when you were a child?  As a child I was quite outgoing, but when I wasn’t entertaining anyone, you would find me with my nose in a book.

Who is the most influential person in your life?  My father. I am a Daddy’s girl, and even though he isn’t able to be a part of my everyday life, I have him to thank for always steering me in the direction of success and offering me strength and encouragement for every step I take in life.

What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? People often don’t recognize the hardships I have faced in my life because I have learned to be strong through my circumstance, keep a smile on my face and lean upon the Lord.

Describe one defining moment in your own life, other than winning your local title: One defining moment for me was one that was only seen by me in one of my nightly devotions. I had become overwhelmed, discouraged, and had began to give up when I had a personal, spiritual encounter with God where He spoke to me and let me know he was still working on me, had incredible plans for my life and I could not give up.

What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss America Program? I have learned how effortless and amazing it is to develop close bonds with          ladies from all throughout the state and how much of an impact we have on each     other’s lives. I also enjoy the fun and the challenge of healthy competition.

If you are crowned Miss Mississippi, what do you want to accomplish during your Year of Service? The Miss Mississippi title for me is much more than a crown. In my year of service, I want to “get real with real people” as I expand my platform throughout Mississippi, increasing awareness of the needs of children of incarcerated parents, while providing resources and becoming a personal mentor to help to empower and find a safe haven for those children affected by parental imprisonment. .

What is your secret wish or dream?  My secret dream is to compose a chart topping song with a powerful meaning that would impact the lives of many

I’m motivated by:  the life stories of others; whether those stories are good or bad, and I use them to keep myself humble and to push me to continue striving for success

Is there a personal connection that made you pick your personal platform? Absolutely. As a child of an incarcerated father, I understand the struggles and pains that the children of incarcerated parents experience. There were no resources nor advocates available for me when I first faced this difficult, life-altering circumstance. I want to be a voice and a role model for the children who find themselves, by no fault of their own, in the similar scenario as I did. I want to help them understand their situation and rise above it to be empowered to reach their dreams and aspirations.

What do you think has been the most significant event in your lifetime? My father’s incarceration has played an enormous role in my life and helped me develop characteristics I never imagined. It taught me responsibility at a young age and to count my blessings, but most of all, it strengthened my personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

The one thing I can’t live without: ChapStick

My best friend would describe me as:  Trustworthy, honest, hilarious and intelligent.

Something interesting about my family:  My blended family consists of ten siblings. With the exception of my immediate family, my relatives live 12 hours away.

Funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me:  When I was 10 years old my vocal coach gave me the opportunity to sing “Holly Jolly Christmas” in her Christmas concert. I had practiced for weeks and was so excited. I was on stage singing, and after the first verse I went completely blank and forgot the lyrics. I was scarred for what seemed like forever, but now I just look back and laugh.

One thing I’d like to try that is out of character for me:  Sky diving

Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and tell us their names:  2 dogs: a Chihuahua named Jonas and a Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff) named Chance.