Miss USA 2016, Deshauna Barber, made history as being the first titleholder to be active in the military.
The 27 year old, spent her year-long reign living in an opulent New York City apartment, making numerous appearances, continuing her work at the U.S. Army Reserve, serving organizations including USO and Operation Homefront, strutting in a Sherri Hill fashion show, and competing in the Miss Universe pageant, where she placed in the top 9.
Soon after she passed the crown to Kara McCullough, she announced that she signed to WME Speakers, which represents celebrities in film, television, sports, music, media, food, literature, and politics, to entertain and inspire others globally. Each topic combines Barber’s personal and professional experiences.
Some of her speech topics are titled “A Soldier and More,” “Overcoming Adversity” and “The Confident Road to Success.”
Clips of Barber’s inspirational speeches can be found on her YouTube channel named “Deshauna Barber,” where her goals are to encourage, inspire and strengthen.
In a commencement speech titled “Do Not Fear Failure” to her alma mater the University of Maryland University College, Barber spoke about welcoming rejection instead of fearing it. She related her message to her Miss USA journey.
It all started when she was a 19-year-old college student, working in the women’s clothing department at Target. A woman approached Barber and asked her a series of unusual questions: “Where you born in this country? Do you have any kids? How old are you?”
As Barber stood there and felt offended, the woman said she thought Barber was the most beautiful girl she had seen, and that she could be the next Miss USA.
Barber later met with the woman to learn more about the pageant, where not long after, she would go on to compete in Miss District of Columbia USA, in hopes to represent her state on the Miss USA stage.
It took Barber seven times before she won the Miss District of Columbia USA crown in 2015. Barber requested one thing from the graduating class, after discussing a portion of her Miss USA journey:
“Do not fear failure but please be terrified of regret,”said Barber. “As giving up is the birth of regret.”
She explained that people will receive a lot of no’s and will experience failure, but it’s important to get back up, and continue fighting and working hard.
Barber is also using her website, to inspire and motivate others. The website’s motto states, “How To Build Yourself Up, In A World Made To Tear You Down.”
It’s evident that Barber’s influence has surpassed her time as Miss USA, and she shows no signs of slowing down.
Make sure to follow Barber’s social media to keep an eye out for when she’s in your city!
Youtube: Deshauna Barber
Website: Deshauna.com & deshaunaspeaks.com