In 2020, the 23-year old Asya Branch became Miss USA and openly shared her values and steadfast faith in God.
“I rely on my faith wholeheartedly. Your faith will always be tested. It has helped me develop as an individual. I know this is where I’m supposed to be. I’m following in my path and the plan that God has for me in this life. And I believe it is to impact the lives of others, to use my voice to help others. It’s been comforting to know that on good days or bad, I can pray,” Branch said.
Branch recently represented the U.S. at the 69th Miss Universe.
“I’m actually not really nervous. I’m more excited than anything. I know that in winning Miss USA, this would be the next step,” Branch told Fox News in a recent interview before Miss Universe. “For a while, I was kind of numb to the idea. But now that it’s approaching, it’s beginning to feel more real. So I’m just really thrilled. I’m excited to meet people from all different backgrounds and countries and just have the opportunity to represent the United States of America.”
Branch, who is passionate about the needs of children with incarcerated parents because of her childhood experience, is no stranger to the testing of faith.
“Oh, there were a lot of times where I felt like I was at my lowest point. Where I felt like things couldn’t get any worse. I would wonder, ‘Why is this happening in my life? Why was I in this situation?’ I really did get to a low point where I just questioned everything. I didn’t understand what was going on or why things were so bad,” Branch confessed. “I did question God at one point. I was like, ‘Why would you do this to me and my family? Why do we have to deal with this? There’s no good that could come from this.’
“But eventually, once I got past that anger, I turned back to my faith,” Branch added. “I learned that everything does happen for a reason. And while I may not be able to see the bigger picture, I believe God has a plan for all of us. And I couldn’t turn my back away from him. I knew that things would work out as long as I trusted in him knowing that he would make the right decisions. I had to be faithful and pray when I felt those doubts.”
Upon winning the Miss USA title, Branch received backlash for her support of former President Donald Trump. However, Branch’s support stemmed more from her appreciation of the freedom found in the U.S. and less on the personality in the White House.
“I always go back to our liberties and freedom. I’m proud to be a part of the greatest nation and to have the freedoms that I have. I am proud to be a part of this country and to have the abilities and freedoms to do the things I’ve dreamed about doing for so long,” Branch said. “At one point, there weren’t African- American women competing in pageantry. And I’ve made history as the first Black woman crowned Mississippi. And from there, I was crowned Miss USA. It has really opened my eyes to a lot of different things. I’m proud to be an American because I have these freedoms to chase my dreams.”
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