February 2021, News & Features

Miss SAU candidate seeks to be a first

Jaelyn Barnes would be the 71st woman to hold the Miss SAU title but she would be the first with a child.

The junior psychology major from Charlotte, NC., is trying o prove something not only to herself but to others.

“I want to be able to show the young mother’s life does not stop; that you have to continue to push forward for that desired goal and you will succeed,” Baker said. “I want my daughter to have something to be proud of — that her mother is a strong individual who did not let statistics and society bring her down.”

She added: “Teen pregnancy has a stereotype that I have witnessed for myself that is not true.”

Campaign week started on Monday, March 22, and will end on April 1. The Mister and Miss Royal SAU pageant will be held on March 31, 2021, at 6 p.m. in Seby Auditorium. The vote will be on April 1 from 8 am.-5 p.m. in the MLK Center and The Reveal of the winners will be held on April 1st also in MLK, but it is invite only.

Barnes wants to help not only pregnant students but all students facing major challenges. “I want to reach into the mental health field because it is a topic that is seriously frowned upon and not taken seriously,” she said. “I want to normalize that it is okay to express your feelings and emotions without being judged.”

Barnes’ slogan is “Never tip your crown.” CROWN stands for “Confidence, Resilience, Overachieving, Withstanding, Negativity.”

Having a child at an early age was “challenging and difficult,” Baker said. “One major thing that has kept me motivated is staying true to myself. I knew what I wanted to do and how much work needed to be done. I knew I had to mentally prepare myself for this campaign no matter the outcome. I continuously pray over my campaign. If God made it for me then I shall receive.”