The City of Donaldsonville has a new pageant queen representing the historic city, 18 year-old Tamiko Stroud. Stroud will carry the title of Miss Donaldsonville 2017, representing the city throughout the year at various events.
The 2017 Donaldsonville High School graduate will attend Southern University in Baton Rouge in the fall, double majoring in finance and english, with the hopes of one day becoming an attorney.
For Stroud, the title is about community involvement and showcasing the many wonderful aspects the city has to offer, while being a positive role model for young girls.
How long have you competed competitively in beauty pageants?
My first pageant was the Miss Donaldsonville Teen in 2015 then I competed in the Miss Sunshine Festival Pageant in 2016. This is my third pageant of Miss Donaldsonville 2017.
What will you be doing during your reign as Miss Donaldsonville?
I will be traveling around the State of Louisiana encouraging young children, especially young females, about self-confidence and holding themselves up with class, teaching them etiquette and just how to be a young lady overall. I will be volunteering, especially within Louisiana like I did with the Baton Rouge Foundation during the Great Flood, and helping around the city, trying to get more publicity in certain places, especially the River Road African American Museum.
What is your platform you are focusing on?
The River Road African American Museum has always been my platform, but my platform right now is tourism of the City of Donaldsonville.
What does the title of Miss Donaldsonville put a heavy emphasis on, community involvement?
Yes, that is it. Some people don't really favor Donaldsonville, they say it is one of the most dangerous cities in Louisiana, mainly people just have negative views on Donaldsonville. My admission is to change that around because to be honest it is really one of the safest, it is not even close to the worst.
What are you most excited about for this year?
I am just excited to be able to represent the City of Donaldsonville, that is one of the highlights of the entire crown, being able to tell everybody how good Donaldsonville is and get them to believe you. When you go to school in Donaldsonville or work in Donaldsonville or live here, it's like oh Donaldsonville is not that bad and people don't believe you, but when you representing it they actually understand because you can give them facts about how beautiful and how rich the culture is.
Why is being community involvement so important to you?
This is my home. My family has been deeply rooted in Donaldsonville since the very beginning. My great great grandfather was a part of the representatives, my grandfather was the second black mayor of Donaldsonville and my mom was one of the first black city councilwomen. My grandmother started the Juneteenth festival so I really feel like it's my responsibility to continue serving Donaldsonville.
How has beauty pageants helped you grow?
When I won my first pageant I was so excited and people would come up to me and ask me how I felt about it. That whole process developed my public speaking skills and it taught me how to be a better person overall. I have met some queens and they are just so excited they have a crown and they don't care about anything else. My mission is the exact opposite, I have the crown but I want to be able to do something with it rather than just parade around with it on top of my head. Using the title isn't just because oh I want this or I got this, no I'm using the title to do better things within the City.
Will you go on to compete at other pageants?
There are some pageants at the college I will be attending. I am still between either going for an office position like freshmen president or vice president or the pageant. I am still thinking about it.