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Covering Caressa Cameron

We'll be following Caressa Cameron to Las Vegas and posting notes, stories, more photos and videos. Stay with us for continuing coverage!

Caressa Cameron at a glance

Height: 5-foot-4
Eye color: light brown
Shoe size: 7
Schools attended: Salem Elementary, Battlefield and Ni River middle schools and Massaponax High School; she attended Germanna Community College for two years and is a senior at VCU, where she’s on a break while serving as Miss Virginia
College major: communications with a focus in broadcasting
Favorite colors: red and brown
Favorite outfit for hanging out: “Leggings, Uggs, big oversized sweaters you just drown in and, for a little bit of swag, a scarf.”
Favorite TV shows: “Bridezilla” and “Desperate Housewives”
Favorite movies: “Sex and the City, ” “The Wizard of Oz” and the original “Ten Commandments”
Favorite junk food: “anything salty”
Favorite dish: fried hamburger over white rice smothered in onion pan gravy
Favorite musical artists: Christina Aguilera and Sade
Favorite song: “Is it a Crime?” by Sade
Last movie seen: “Precious”

You might not know that:

  • Caressa can sing, but she can’t whistle
  • She also can’t read music and sings by ear
  • She’s right-handed but is left-dominant when posing, meaning she puts her left leg forward
  • She prefers hot tea over sodas or coffee
  • She likes salt on slices of watermelon and green apples

  • VIEW MORE PICTURES OF CARESSA CAMERON

    CARESSA CAMERON WASN'T LOOKING TO BE A BEAUTY QUEEN when she entered the Junior Miss Fredericksburg Pageant at the age of 14.

    What she wanted was a soapbox. After losing her Uncle Robert to AIDS when she was 8, Cameron had spent time volunteering with organizations dedicated to educating the public about the disease.

    If she won a crown, she reasoned, she’d be invited to schools and churches, where she could spread that message to fellow teens.

    “I thought, ‘I’m just going to do this thing and if they like me, they like me and if not, oh well,’” said Cameron, now 22 and a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University. “And they liked me.”

    She won that pageant and quite a few more. In June, the Massaponax High School graduate earned the title Miss Virginia.

    She’s used each victory to promote the cause of HIV- and AIDS-prevention, speaking candidly about risky behavior, urging teens to ask questions and get educated, and working hard to remove the stigmas associated with the disease.

    She competes in the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas Jan. 30, where she hopes to impress the judges with her poise, knowledge of current events and a stirring rendition of “Listen” from the film “Dreamgirls.”

    But mostly, she said, it’s a key opportunity to take her message about AIDS to a national stage.

    “The challenge is that some people don’t want to talk about it,” she said. “It’s kind of like the elephant in the room, and we can no longer ignore the elephant in the room when the next generation’s life is at stake.”

    —Edie Gross

    Related headlines

    It's what they eat, not what they play (2/6/2010)
    We live in less-innocent times

    MISS AMERICA DESERVES IT (2/6/2010)
    By Jim Kundreskas

    Woman to take over Miss Virginia role (2/3/2010)
    Woman to take over Miss Virginia role

    A crown for Caressa (2/2/2010)
    Hail, Miss America, Caressa Cameron

    Cameron unfazed so far by Miss America crown (2/1/2010)
    Spotsylvania resident Caressa Cameron begins her busy reign as Miss America

    CAMERON IS MISS AMERICA (1/31/2010)
    Spotsylvanian crowned Miss America

    A big night for Cameron (1/30/2010)
    Miss Virginia ready for what happens on pageant's final night

    Pageant crowds go wild over favorites (1/29/2010)
    Miss America: Crowds are loud and proud in support of their favorite contestants

    Caressa Cameron off to fast start in Miss America pageant preliminaries (1/28/2010)
    Spotsylvania's Caressa Cameron gets off to fast start at Miss America pageant, winning talent preliminary

    Caressa Cameron | Miss Virginia starts strong in Miss America competition (1/27/2010)
    Miss Virginia Caressa Cameron, a Massaponax High graduate, gets off to a great start at the Miss America competition in Las Vegas.

    Michelle Kang | Her crown fades, but memories still shine (1/27/2010)
    Former Miss Virginia with local ties recalls her time with the crown

    Caressa Cameron | Miss America pageant crowns years of work (1/26/2010)
    Spotsylvania woman in Miss America Pageant