Meet Miss Illinois USA – Angela Sparrow

Angela Sparrow hopes to be the fifth woman from Illinois to walk away with the Miss USA crown in June.

Angela Sparrow hopes to be the fifth woman from Illinois to walk away with the Miss USA crown in June.

Sparrow –– a communications manager and special events coordinator for a major minority-owned transportation company in the city –– caught the pageant bug two years ago while helping her younger sister with her pageant endeavors.

“She needed help hair and makeup tips. I’ve always modeled and I was excited for her while giving her all these tips. Then, I also got excited because I had a moment where I thought that I should do this too,” the Charleston, S.C. native told the Defender.

The climb up the staircase then began.

Her first pageant was Miss Chicago. Then she beat out 138 women for Miss Illinois USA 2011 in November.

The Miss Universe organization –– a joint venture by Donald Trump and NBC Universal –– produces the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA competitions.

“This journey has far exceeded all expectations. It has been a wild ride and I’m so excited to be a part of it. It’s all about self-confidence and self-fulfillment,” said the former gymnastics instructor, NBA dancer and make-up artist who is pursuing a master’s degree and becoming a certified special events planner through the International Society of Special Events.

Now, her sights are set on being the fifth Miss Illinois to be crowned Miss USA as the pageant celebrates its 60th year. Illinois claimed the title in 1953, 1963, 1973 and 1974.

“It’s way overdue for us. Illinois deserves it. I’m ready to take it all the way,” she said.

Sparrow will compete for the crown June 19 in Las Vegas. The winner will go on to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.

Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender

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