Photo courtesy of @ardelledickerson
Hailing from the nation’s capital of Washington, D.C., senior N.C. A&T student Ardelle Dickerson displays her mastery of juggling multiple jobs. She delegates tasks for two public relations companies, is a campus representative for Victoria Secret’s Pink at N.C. A&T brand and her latest title of being the newest USA National Miss and being a national titleholder, Dickerson has a full plate to balance. However, Dickerson acknowledges she is in uncharted waters.
“I’m entering a space that’s not normal for girls like me,” Dickerson said. “The mental preparation of pageantry can be very tedious while also knowing you are competing against 50 accomplished women who represent their state, it is easy to develop imposter syndrome or self-doubt.”
Pageantry is far more advanced than being able to compose a visually appealing package. Contestants must have a platform that speaks toward making the world a more conducive place for all citizens. While on stage, Dickerson’s main goal is to advocate for lower socioeconomic groups and closing their gaps with higher groups.
“It’s imperative for our younger generation to see someone who is a product of their environment in successful spaces,” Dickerson said. “I love the opportunities I have earned to use my platform to inspire others.”
Outside of her multimedia studies at N.C. A&T, Dickerson has dedicated her time to understand the ins and outs of social media and how to create the perfect content for her users. These skills have launched themselves into two companies for Dickerson, Pageant Relations and HBCU Relations.
Pageant Relations is a company Dickerson founded to schedule and book appearances for all titleholders, big and small. Dickerson’s clients are able to get first dips on highly sought-after media opportunities, keynote speaking engagements, and exclusive guest appearances.
“I knew public relations was my dream field to work in. I also wanted to help women excel in pageantry as I understand how difficult it is competing with little to no resources,” Dickerson said.
Once Dickerson hit the ground running for Pageant Relations, she decided to introduce her audience to HBCU Relations. HBCU Relations aims to assist future leaders at a variety of HBCUs by crafting personal platform points, campaign themes, monologue writing, and schedule management.
HBCU Relations most recent success story is N.C. A&T’s very own Miss Freshman, Daja Snipes, who garnered the attention of her class while ensuring a gracious year of hard work and dedication in their best interest.
Becoming USA National Miss 2020 was not an instant triumph for Dickerson. When she competed in 2019, she was crowned first-runner up. Coming so close to her dream only made Dickerson go full force towards her opportunity to shine the following year.
“I am so excited to represent the happiest pageant on Earth through positivity and inclusivity,” Dickerson said. “I can not wait to showcase my true personality through silliness, relatability, and fun Tik-Toks.”
She encourages everyone no matter what age to continue to dream.
“They say if you dream it more than once, it’ll come true,” she said.