• Derek Tokarzewski

Nikki Johnson-Huston United States of America's Ms. Pennsylvania 2020


Nikki Johnson-Huston United States of America's Ms. Pennsylvania 2020, World Class Beauty Queens Magazine, Photo by Photo by Anthony Panzino

World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to welcome amazing Queen Nikki Johnson-Huston United States of America's Ms. Pennsylvania 2020.

Full name: Nikki Johnson-Huston, Esq.

Title/Year: United States of America's Ms. Pennsylvania 2020

Pageant System: United States of America Miss Pennsylvania

Age: 45

Zodiac sign: Leo

Hobbies: Travel, Shopping, Reading & Volunteering

Platform: Finding solutions to end homelessness

Years competed: 2

Countries visited: Mexico, Jamaica, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, India, New Zealand, England, France, Italy, Canada, Barbados, Spain, etc..

Likes: dancing, country music, pop and hip hop, meeting people, the color coral, strong women

Dislikes: Cold Weather, Mean People & Injustice

Status: Recently Divorced & Loving It

World Class Beauty Queens: Please tell us about yourself.

I'm a tax attorney in Philadelphia with my own law firm, I love what I do and feel honored that I can use my education to help people with their businesses.  In addition I am an advocate for those experiencing homelessness because of my personal experience with being homeless as a child. I was homeless for almost a year between the ages of 9-10, 15 and for the last time at 19 years old. I feel an obligation to speak for the voiceless and to be an example of what people who have experienced homelessness can achieve if they are given the right opportunities. I created a smartphone app called Donafy back in 2015 to allow people in need to find social services including housing and food by using their phone and it’s one of the best things that I have ever done. I love attending country music concerts, traveling with friends, shopping for cute shoes and helping others.

World Class Beauty Queens: What does women Empowerment means to you?

Women having the choice to live their lives in a way that is authentic and true to themselves. Uplifting women means bettering the lives of the children and the larger community. Women having no barriers to achievement, women being paid equally for their work and are given the opportunity to become leaders in larger numbers.

World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your pageant history.

I have only been in two pageants.  The first was the Mrs. Pennsylvania Pageant where I placed 2nd runner up and  the United States of America’s Miss Pennsylvania Pageant where I was selected in September 2019 as USOA Ms. Pennsylvania 2020. I have made incredible friends through my pageant experiences who were a wonderful support system for me through some really difficult personal challenges that I have experienced over the last year.

World Class Beauty Queens: What inspired you to do your first pageant? It was a childhood dream that I had since I was living in a homeless shelter watching the Miss America Pageant, but when you don't know where you are going to live or where your next meal is coming from, being in a pageant seems kind of impossible.  I thought it was a pipe dream but a couple of years ago I met Valerie Ross who was competing and went on to become Mrs. Pennsylvania America. She inspired me to go after my dream and has become a very close friend of mine. I will always be grateful for her love and support.

World Class Beauty Queens: Why did you choose to compete for your current title? I was going through a divorce and found such a great support system with my pageant sisters that I decided that I wanted to compete again but in a new division as a Ms. instead of a Mrs. It’s the best decision that I’ve made, pageantry allowed me to find myself again by allowing me to return to doing the work in my community to advocate on behalf of the issues of the homeless community.  This experience has made me feel stronger and more grateful.  It helped me to remember that I am a smart, talented and beautiful woman both inside and out.

World Class Beauty Queens: To those unfamiliar with your pageant system please tell us what is it about?

I love the United States of America’s Pageant System.The motto is to EMPOWER, INSPIRE and UPLIFT. The women in this system are beautiful, accomplished and service oriented.  If you're not about sisterhood and service than this isn't the system for you. Mean girls need not apply, this is about women supporting other women. 

World Class Beauty Queens: What are you being judged on during the competition? 50% of the score is interview, 25% is swimsuit and 25% evening gown. It's an important job and the ability to represent the system and your other sister queens in a responsible way is why interview has such importance.  Being a queen is about being smart, attractive, approachable and a hardworker like every other woman that I know.

World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your experience during the competition. It was amazing, so fun and relaxed. It felt like a real sisterhood and my executive director Denise McKeon was so warm and supportive and wanted to give all of us the best experience.  I felt that this pageant system was invested in me as a person and in helping me to succeed whether I won the title or not.

World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your platform or what cause do you volunteer for.

My platform is about empowering the homeless with a special emphasis on women and children.  I have been working on this issue for the last 10 years and it gives my life a sense of purpose to use my experience to inspire others to know that they can become anything they want no matter their circumstances.  I went from being homeless to being a lawyer and now the United States of America's Ms. Pennsylvania 2020.  Dreams really do come true. 

World Class Beauty Queens: What appearances have you done with your title? I have gone to the state capital in Harrisburg to advocate on behalf of homeless students to get the resources they need, supported numerous charities who work with mentoring at risk children like Big Brothers, Big Sisters, worked with an organization that supports homeless men in a basketball league to help build up their confidence and teaching the importance of working together as part of a team. I have also engaged with my local state representatives to support local resource fairs in their community to bring access to jobs, health care and services to disadvanatged communities. 

World Class Beauty Queens: What are some of your achievements?

2018 – Community Advocate Award – Lutheran Settlement House, Woman Up! Honroee for Community Service, 2017 – Innovactiv.com – Top 50 Visionary Women in Tech, 2016 – Philadelphia Business Journal Minority Business Leader Award, Being Beautiful Foundation Pinnacle Award, 2015 – NAACP New Jersey Women in the NAACP – Frances D. Hooks Awardee, Power Award from the Professional Women’s Roundtable, Lighting the Path Award – Pathways PA, 2014 – CBS 3 / KYW New Radio 1060am Game Changer Black History Month, 2013 – Legal Intelligence, Pennsylvania Diverse Attorneys of the Year, 2012 – Nation’s Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40 by the National Bar Association, 2012 Eisenhower Fellowship to India and New Zealand –where I studied ways to effectively end poverty. 

I graduated with a Juris Doctorate, M.B.A. and LL.M in Taxation at the same time in 4 years.

World Class Beauty Queens: What makes you stand out from all those other beautiful girls? 

I'm a fierce, fabulous and proud 45 year old beauty queen. I think that all of us have unique gifts and for me its the ability to live my life with purpose and service. I am proud to have overcome some really challenging things in my life like homelessness and failing out of college and used those experiences not just in finding my own success but in hopefully being an example to others who are struggling with their own challenges. 

World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about the moment your name was called out as the winner.

It was one of the best moments of my life.  A culmination of a lifetime of little girl dreams and just goes to show that a dream deferred is not a dream denied. I was on cloud nine for several days and sat in my law office taking client calls wearing my crown the next day after I won.

World Class Beauty Queens: What does it mean to you to be a Beauty Queen? It is a great responsibility and I feel proud to represent my sister queens, my system, my state and my platform. It's not about being a beautiful woman but about trying to be a beautiful person who makes the world a better place so that other people can achieve their own dreams. 

World Class Beauty Queens: How did competing in pageants helped your life? It’s been a fun and unique experience that is so different from my day to day life as an attorney.  It allows me to have a sense of sisterhood with women who love color, sequins and glitter while also being serious well educated people who do significant community service.

World Class Beauty Queens: How did pageants helped your self esteem and body image? It helped me to get into swimsuit shape and I was really proud of myself for the commitment to changing my diet and exercising several times a week no matter how tired or busy my schedule. I made my physical health a priority and it showed.

World Class Beauty Queens: You are an inspiration to all the girls out there. How does it feel?

It feels good and is incredibly humbling to inspire girls out there.  It’s a responsibility that I take very seriously and want to be an example of how women can be anything she wants from a doctor, lawyer, principal or USOA Ms. Pennsylvania.

World Class Beauty Queens: What is your on stage strategy to win the judges over?

Be Authentic, Have Fun and Strut My Stuff. I want the judges to see who I really am. I gave up on being perfect but concentrate on trying to be the best version of myself.

World Class Beauty Queens: How did you prepare for your competition? I seek advice from a experienced coach and my pageant sisters. I also practice, practice and practice some more with all aspects of the competition from running drills with interview questions to walking around in heels so I can feel comfortable, all of the practice is helpful so that even if I get nervous than muscle memory will kick in. 

World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for learning better pageant walk? I practice at my gym late at night with music in a room full of mirrors and pretend I'm Beyonce walking across the stage and serving looks. 

World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for choosing the right pageant dress? I ask myself a series of questions. Do I look the way I want to in the dress? Do I feel confident and beautiful, can I move comfortably and confidently?  Does it make me feel pretty? Does it reflect my personal style?

World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for winning interview? Have fun, be authentic, don't be nervous view the interview process as an opportunity for the judges to get to know you better.

World Class Beauty Queens: What is one mistake that you've done during competing you wish you could redo and fix it? Not enjoying the moment and worrying too much about whether I won the crown instead of focusing on the opportunity to get to know amazing women doing great things in the community.  Pageantry is about sisterhood and service, once I really understood that I have had a wonderful experience. 

World Class Beauty Queens: What other mistakes are made by girls during the contest? Worrying about the other women competing and comparing yourself in a negative way.  This process is about being the best version of yourself and if you lose sight of that then you missed the point regardless of whether you in win or lose.

World Class Beauty Queens: Any modeling or acting experience? No.  I'm just a lawyer. World Class Beauty Queens: What are your plans for 2020 as a Queen? Continue to use my platform to bring awareness to the issue of homelessness and use my title of United States of America’s Ms Pennsylvania as a spokesperson on this issue. I am hoping to expand my partnerships through my app and to bring Donafy to the aid of more people who are suffering from homelessness and issues related to poverty.

World Class Beauty Queens: What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

I hope that I’m a good queen who expands her platform in a significant way and I also hope to increase the visibility of the United States of America’s Pageant system in my state. I want other girls to see the value of competing and to want to become queens themselves.

International Director: Tanice Smith

National Director: Tanice Smith

Your Local Director: Denise McKeon

Pageant website:https://www.unitedstatesofamericapageants.com

World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to say thank you for this amazing interview.

Nikki Johnson-Huston United States of America's Ms. Pennsylvania 2020, World Class Beauty Queens Magazine, Photo by Anthony Panzino

Interview by Derek Tokarzewski Owner/Editor in Chief Mr United Nations 2018 Platform: Women Empowerment Ambassador to International Foundation for Orphans iffocares.org

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