On Sunday, August 7, a very lucky group of young women will be inducted into a program that has become a national tradition for 23 years now. The date marks the return of the 23rd Annual Little Miss African American Scholarship Pageant. Lisa Ruffin, actress, choreographer and creator of the pageant, is confirming girls for the event with a nationwide registration that is open until June 10, 2016. This year’s pageant will be held at the Music Center’s Mark Taper Theater, located at 135 N Grand Ave. in downtown Los Angeles, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Girls, between the ages of six and 12 are welcome to apply at http://littlemissafricanamerican.org by the deadline date.
The Little Miss African American Scholarship Pageant is the longest running pageant of its kind and is dedicated to the intellectual and artistic success of young women. Mentors from Julliard, USC, UCLA, Howard University and the Broadway stage participate by teaching an eight-week educational program that culminates with the pageant event. The girls are afforded a prime opportunity to experience lessons they won’t learn in the traditional classroom. Over $10,000 in scholarships and prizes are awarded at the final event. Over the years, celebrity participation and support has included Jay Leno, LL Cool J, Jamie Foxx, Laila Ali, and Meagan Goode.
Actress, choreographer and pageant creator, Lisa Ruffin
photo by Dr. Boogie
“The pageant is an on-going dream come true each year,” cites Ruffin. “Hundreds of the past contestants are all grown up now. Many have graduated from college, some have professional careers and some are wonderful mothers now. All of them are making a difference in this world. The scholarship pageant has become a milestone in their lives.”
This year’s educational component will see the young misses deal with issues related to bullying and being judged by their peers; learning about their genealogy and building their family trees; and nurturing healthy body images with nutrition, exercise and focus.