Earlier this year, Monica announced that she would represent the Windy City in the Miss Illinois pageant.
"I am so excited to be the newest Miss Windy City," Monica wrote on Instagram. "I am going back to Miss Illinois for the last time!"
She adds, "The weather is reporting that a wind chill is coming to Marion, IL because Miss Windy City is coming!"
Monica understood the assignment.
On Saturday, June 11, 2022, the 25 year-old violinist from Chicago's South Side was crowned Miss Illinois. The pageant was held from June 6-11 at Marion Civic Center.
Monica, along with 25 other contestants, was selected to represent her local area in the Miss Illinois competition. The women competed in four phases of competition: Talent, Private Interview, Evening Wear, and On-Stage Interview & Social Impact Pitch.
Monica wowed the judges and captured the crown. She will represent the state at the Miss America competition in December 2022. Miss River Valley, McKenna Vereeke, was selected as the first runner up.
This isn't Monica's first time competing on the Miss Illinois stage. In 2021, she represented Illinois as the reigning Miss Chicago. She was crowned Miss Chicago in February 2020.
"In October, I decided that I wanted to compete in the Miss Chicago Pageant," Monica posted on Instagram. "There were so many things that I was unsure about from deciding what my dress was, finding a violin piece that was 90 seconds (trust me, that wasn’t easy), and most importantly my social impact."
She adds, "Not only did I walk away as the new Miss Chicago 2020, I also won the Miss Chicago 2020 Jade Smalls Simmons Overall Talent Award."
Monica's social impact initiative is Music Uniting Souls in Communities (M.U.S.I.C.). Monica has been involved in the arts since the age of two. Now, she uses her art education to empower diverse communities through classical music. She's served as a violin instructor for the Apostolic Church of God since 2010.
"My education in the arts has played such a huge role into the person I have become today," Monica wrote on Instagram.
According to Monica's LinkedIn profile, she is a part-time junior sales associate at Christian Louboutin. She received a certificate in Marketing & Communication for Fashion and Luxury Brands from ELLE Education in 2021.
Monica graduated with a bachelor of science degree in interdisciplinary studies from Arizona State University in 2018. While in college, she served as the President of the Black Business Student Association and Vice President of Finance for the Black African Coalition. She was also a founding member, captain, and treasurer of the Devilettes dance team.
Now, Monica is on her way to compete for the title of Miss America. Subscribe to Chicago Southsider to follow her journey.
What are the benefits of competing in a pageant? Scholarships! As part of Monica's prize package, she will receive money to further her educational pursuits.
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