Ciera Nicole Butts, a Marymount University graduate and entrepreneur, is the newest Miss District of Colombia.
Butts, 23, was selected Miss District of Columbia 2014 Dec. 2 at the 60th Annual Miss District of Columbia USA Pageant at the Renaissance Hotel in Northwest Washington, D.C. She was one of 43 contestants who competed in the contest, which included interview, swimwear, and evening wear categories.
Butts, who also has worked as a anti-violence advocate for young people, was a standout in the field from the beginning of the competition. In the interview section of the program, she wore a white chiffon gown with a thick gold beaded sash, which glistened under the stage lights as she took her stand in the center of the stage, awaiting the judges’ questions. She told the judges her mother was her role model and inspiration and that her dream is to own a public relations firm.
When asked how people in society should assist the FDA officials in their effort to decrease the number of Americans who are afflicted by heart disease and obesity, she responded that the FDA had gone a long way in banning trans-fat in foods.
“It is important that parents teach their children to eat healthy and consume foods in moderation, she added. “For instance, after working so hard throughout this pageant, I plan on going home and eating a cupcake to celebrate my hard work.”
During her undergrad years at Marymount University, Butts was a member of the Black Student Alliance, and also founded and served as the president and vice president of a program called Ladies Inspiring Strength for Tomorrow, or LIST.
In the District, Butts has participated in various projects and assisted organizations such as St. Jude's Research Hospital, Becky's Fund and Key to the Cure.
Along with the title, Butts received $50,000 in scholarship money and cash, clothing and other prizes. She will compete on behalf of the District of Columbia in the Miss USA Pageant and will represent the District of Columbia in local and national charitable events.
Carla Crawford, executive state director of the Miss District of Columbia USA Pageant and the Miss District of Columbia Teen USA Pageant, said the competition helps young women realize their dreams.
Entertainment was provided by Bowie native and “X Factor” finalist Marcus Canty, an R&B singer with Epic Records. His single “Won't Make A Fool Out of You” was featured on the “Think Like a Man” movie soundtrack.