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Miss USA returns to Charlotte with a national platform
Cheslie Kryst visits alma mater, state capitol
Published Monday, June 3, 2019 7:40 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

Miss USA, Cheslie Kryst of Charlotte, meets young fans during a meet and greet at SouthPark Mall Monday. Kryst, an attorney, will compete for the Miss Universe crown.

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Cheslie Kryst grew up knowing the kind of power pageantry success could give her.

Miss USA’s mother, April Simpkins, set the stage for Kryst in 2002.

“My mom was Mrs. North Carolina, U.S., 2002,” said Kryst, who was crowned Miss USA on May 2 in Reno, Nevada. “I remember being a little kid, and wanting to be just like her. When I started competing, I competed in my high school pageant, and then got to law school and started competing again. I knew I wanted the platform, and the power that she had, and that’s what I got in the Miss Universe system.”  

The Charlotte litigation attorney’s homecoming tour included a stop at her alma mater, Fort Mill High School, as well as one at SouthPark Mall for Dress for Success. Fashion has always been a priority for Kryst, whose blog “White Collar Glam” highlights looks to empower women in the workplace. She will continue to raise awareness for Dress for Success as an impact ambassador, highlighting the organization’s mission to promote the women’s economic independence. Dress for Success provides women with professional attire as well as life skills essential to success.

“I hope that people in general know that what you wear speaks before you do,” Kryst said. “It is very important to be mindful and cognizant of the clothes you put on your back, and unfortunately there are some people in Charlotte and across our nation who cannot afford clothing, especially for important places like a job interview. I’m glad that Dress for Success answers that problem, and answers that question for people.”

Her tour continues tomorrow with a visit to the state capitol in Raleigh, where she will address the General Assembly.

“One of the really exciting visits that I’m making is to the North Carolina Supreme Court,” Kryst said. “I’m going to be meeting with Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, who is the first black female chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. I am a woman of color. Miss America, Nia Franklin is a woman of color, and Kaliegh Garris, Miss Teen USA, is also a woman of color. It’s really cool for me to meet with Justice Cheri Beasley while I’m there in Raleigh.”

Kryst earned her law degree from Wake Forest University. She was a track and field athlete at the University of South Carolina, where she earned her bachelor’s degree. Her brother Asa Kryst played soccer at South Carolina, and professionally for the Charlotte Independence.


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