Kinder’s Julia Claire Williams preps for Miss America pageant

Published 5:00 am Thursday, November 25, 2021

KINDER — Miss Louisiana Julia Claire Williams is preparing to take the stage next month to compete in the 100th anniversary of the Miss America competition.

It’s a dream she has had since she was a small girl growing up in Southwest Louisiana.

“I remember watching Miss Louisiana and Miss America on Tv from the time I was old enough to recognize what I was watching and I have dreamed of holding the position for several years,” she said. “I feel it is something I have spent my whole life building a resume for.”

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Williams says she has been preparing for Miss American everyday by keeping up with current events and practicing her dance routine, something she has dreamed about doing on the Miss America stage all her life.

“I have been watching the news and trying to stay brushed up on current events,” she said.

Williams, who was crowned Miss Louisiana in June, will be representing the state and her hometown of Kinder during the pageant which will be shown Dec. 16 on the Peacock streaming service from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

As the competition draws closer, she is focusing on preparations, including working on her jazz dance talent routine to Donna Summer’s “Last Dance.”

Williams is competing with a message aimed at inspiring others to give their time, love and support to disabled and disadvantaged youth.

“My social impact initiative is Find Your F.R.E.D.D.Y (Fostering Rewarding Engagements with Disabled and Disadvantaged Youth),” Williams said.

The initiative is based on an experience she had with her second-grade classmate who was a victim of bullying.

That experience led Williams to want to become a pediatrician specialist and to encourage others to find their “Freddy” and interact with those with special development or medical needs.

“I encourage people to take a step beyond donating money to organizations,” she said. “While those donations are essential to provide services, I want to encourage others to give their time to interacting with those kids.”

The initiative advocates for community members across the state to take the initiative, to give their time to outreach programs such as Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, United Way and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to find their “Freddy.”

A recent summa cum laude graduate of the University of Louisiana Monroe with a major in biology with a concentration in pre-medicine, Williams hopes to one day open a community summer camp for disabled and disadvantaged children met through her pediatric practice.

Since being crowned as Miss Louisiana, Williams has been busy fulfilling her duties, while also preparing for the Miss America competition.

“Serving as Miss Louisiana has meant the world to me,” Williams said. “It has been extremely rewarding and has given me an opportunity to serve my state.”

She has visited schools to promote drug-free lifestyles and anti-bullying, attended the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction and several programs for senior citizens and veterans. She will serve as the grand marshal for Kinder’s Christmas parade on Dec. 4 just days before flying to Connecticut for the preliminary competitions.

She’s now ready to take the big stage and compete for the coveted crown.

“I am really excited for the opportunity to represent my state,” Williams said. “Louisiana has always been a special place to me and I am honored to represent and showcase everything Louisiana has to offer from its people, to its communities to the food. My favorite thing has always been the Cajun cuisine.”

Williams is no stranger to the stage or competition. She started dancing at the age of 2 and was competing in dance competitions by the age of 6.

She was crowned Jr. Miss Allen Parish in 2013, Miss Louisiana Outstanding Teen in 2015, Miss Allen Parish in 2017, the Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals Queen of Queens in 2018 and Miss Heart of Pilot before being crowned Miss Louisiana.