Ebony Mitchell was crowned Miss Arkansas, making history along with the new "Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen.”
Both contestants are women of color for the first time in the pageant's 84-year history.
Mitchell discussed her historic victory in-depth with Karen Fuller of Wake Up Central.
She enrolled in this organization when she was just 9 years old and started competing. She started out as a princess, moved on to the teen group, and then decided she wanted to fulfill her ambition of being Miss Arkansas.
The 2022 winner is from Harrison, Arkansas, and graduated from Harrison High School. She then continued her education at the University of Central Arkansas, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in business marketing, and she earned her master's degree from John Brown University.
Mitchell claimed that watching her crowning achievement truly makes it sink in.
She admitted, "I kind of totally don't remember. You kind of lose track of yourself in that moment. But it has truly been amazing. I owe a sincere debt of gratitude to everyone who has assisted me in getting there."
The achievement, said Mitchell, fills her with both excitement and incredulity.
“It's such a significant moment,” added Mitchell. "You dream about experiencing that moment because so few women do. Since I can remember, I have followed the Miss America competition. It's beyond words that I get to go compete and represent the best state in America."
The fact that two Black women won both championships in the same year made history and reflected representation for the small-town winner.
Mitchell stated, "I never really saw that representation for myself growing up in a tiny community. I am aware that a great number of individuals share my sentiments. It's a privilege to serve as the role model I lacked as a young girl, and it's amazing how Ka'Maya can do the same for other girls."
In the end, Mitchell asserted that she thinks the correct person always gets the job; this year, it just so happened to be them.
Mitchell also discussed her "A Responsible Digital You" social impact project for the state of Arkansas.
“It's all about being secure online and protecting our kids,” she said. "When we were in junior high, a really close friend of mine fell prey to an internet predator. It was upsetting to see her go through that."
Mitchell realized this was a cause she could support after studying marketing in college and learning about social media.
“I knew I could work with organizations like the Department of Education and the Attorney General's office to really spread the word about my efforts,” she added.
Mitchell will get ready for the Miss America Pageant in Connecticut, where she will participate during the coming few months.