PEMBROKE — Newly-crowned Miss UNCP DeAndrea Crockwell has traded her trendy Charlotte Russe heels for her favorite black and white sneakers.
Crockwell is on a mission to help her fellow UNC Pembroke students get physically fit. A good workout works wonders for your mental health as well, she said.
A junior from Hope Mills, Crockwell said she is excited about promoting physical and mental health fitness during her reign as Miss UNCP. She won the title on Feb. 2 before a packed crowd at the Givens Performing Arts Center. She also took home the Miss Congeniality award.
Crockwell received a $2,000 educational scholarship, free student housing and a meal plan for one academic year, a class ring and a $500 wardrobe allowance.
Kiara Atkinson was first runner-up and received the Bessie Barnes Overcoming the Odds Scholarship. Shania McMillian was second runner-up and won the Kelsey Cummings Spirit Award and the Community Choice Award.
The other contestants were Jasmine Davis, Mia Baxley, Rebecca Wey and Rebecca Hayes. They were judged in four rounds, including casual wear, talent, evening wear and an on-stage question.
During the talent portion, Crockwell wowed the judges, performing a lyrical dance to Beyonce’s “I Was Here.” The confidence Crockwell showed that night hasn’t always been her strong suit.
It wasn’t until she began playing sports as a teenager that Crockwell developed a strong belief in her abilities. She fell in love with soccer, basketball and cheerleading while living in Mannheim, Germany, where her father was stationed in the military.
“I wasn’t always confident,” Crockwell said. “I was in middle school when I started this health kick and the more I worked out, the more confidence I gained.”
After her family moved to Hope Mills, she joined the soccer and basketball teams while attending Gray’s Creek High School.
“In order to live a long, productive life, it is very important to live a healthy life,” she said. “I look forward to getting involved on campus and in the community, making new friendships with more of my fellow Braves and interacting with the community.”
She has several events planned, including “Walking with Miss UNCP,” in which she plans to encourage students to walk with her around the Taylor Track.
Group workouts at the Campbell’s Wellness Center are also in the works.
The 20-year-old social work major, who enjoys sewing circle skirts in her spare time, plans to seek out volunteer opportunities on campus and the community.
“I am so fortunate to have this opportunity to promote my platform and represent UNC Pembroke,” she said. “My main goal is to give back to the community.”