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Miss Kentucky 2010 is making a difference

Newly crowned Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent, a recent Berea graduate, continues to address a social plight she’s fought since her childhood: homelessness. Growing up in Columbus, Ga., Trent helped feed homeless people from the back of her grandmother’s house. Now, Trent, '09, will use her Miss Kentucky title to draw more attention to addressing this issue.

Djuan Trent at the homecoming court 2009

During the past year she has volunteered with the Lexington (Ky.) Rescue Mission, a nonprofit organization that works to feed and shelter “the broken, the vulnerable, the poor,” and provides addiction help, job counseling and medical care. For her work, she became one of the finalists for the Heather French Henry Quality of Life Award at the pageant.

Trent also won a Preliminary Talent Award for her performance of the song “Up to the Mountain” by Patty Griffin, which she notes was also sung by the Scottish singer and “Britain’s Got Talent” contestant Susan Boyle.

“The song described my journey to the Miss Kentucky pageant,” she said. Trent won the Miss Berea Area pageant and made earlier appearances in the Miss Kentucky pageant, including in 2009 when she reached the top 10. Over the years she has learned that “developing the character to win” is important, choosing to focus on pursuits that truly make a difference in others’ lives.

When she finally became Miss Kentucky, “It was like a whirlwind of emotions, a feeling of achievement.”

In her new capacity, Trent will work with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Kentucky Proud program, which encourages families to purchase produce from farms in the Commonwealth. She will appear in schools throughout the state to promote the consumption of fresh local foods and help local farmers.

Trent is one of two Berea alumnae who won state pageant awards this year. Ashley Miller, ’05, is Miss Black Ohio and will represent the state in the Miss Black USA 2010 pageant. Miller graduated cum laude from Berea with a nursing degree, and is passionate about HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Miller has a master’s in nursing and is set to start her Ph.D. in the fall. Both Trent and Miller were winners of the Black Student Union Scholarship Pageant while students at Berea.

Trent has a degree in Theatre Performance and served on the Student Judicial Board. She was also a member of the Black Music Ensemble and served on the Theater Staff-Faculty Search Committee.

Trent fondly remembers her time in Berea. “My most memorable thing about Berea is the friends that I made and the experiences I had with them,” she said. “I am very proud to be a Berea College graduate.”

Trent hopes to continue her work on homelessness prevention and earn her master’s degree. She eventually wants to work as a broadcast journalist.

She is going to represent Kentucky in the Miss America 2011 contest at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on January 5.

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