By Rachel Judy
August 21, 2015
Photo courtesy of Joe Pier
Regent University graduate student Ashley Smith has been named Miss United States 2011. Smith—previously named Miss Virginia United States in April—traveled to Las Vegas in July to compete in the national competition.
Smith is earning a master's degree in journalism program through Regent's School of Communication & the Arts.
Smith became involved with pageants five years ago when she decided to enter her high school's competition. Now, she's using her growing platform to promote breast cancer awareness and is especially passionate about raising awareness among younger women and those who don't have a family history of breast cancer.
"I knew that if I heard my name, my life was never going to be the same," Smith said of the final moments of the pageant before her name was announced. "The words that God had been whispering to me for a while now flashed before my eyes 'For your faithfulness, it's your time.'"
As Miss United States, Smith will travel extensively, sharing her platform with others "I am so excited about what I may be able to accomplish," she said. "For the last four years, it has been laid on my heart to impact legislation for breast cancer funding. Also, I would like to see more information about breast cancer awareness in books for health classes in grade schools nationwide. With a national title, I just may have enough authority to get the ball rolling on both of those goals!"
Smith plans to continue her journalism studies, even as she travels and fulfills her Miss United States obligations. "This is the most important (and last) year of my pageant career. I have a desire within myself to make the absolute most of it that I can," she explained. "Most importantly, I want to use this title to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
In addition to working for the U.S. Navy, Smith is currently the executive director of the Queen of P.I.N.K. Pageant which honors women who have either survived or are currently fighting breast cancer and have made significant contributions to breast cancer awareness advocacy in the community.
Smith was recently on the 700 Club to discuss her faith and winning the title of Miss United States.