Miss Louisiana hopes to be the state's first Miss America - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Miss Louisiana hopes to be the state's first Miss America

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The Miss Louisiana Organization crowned their 50th Miss Louisiana Saturday night, and the young woman taking her talents to the national stage is no stranger to Northeast Louisiana.

At the finals of the Miss Louisiana pageant, West Monroe native, Jaden Leach, got a new full-time job and it's one she's been preparing for all year.

"In with a trainer 4-5 days a week to work on my physical fitness, along with my talent, interview and of course evening gown and on-stage question," says Leach about what it took to win the big title.

She says a lot more goes in to winning, than just what happens on the stage. When the 21-year-old isn't in class at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where she's pursuing a political science degree, she says she's helping children realize their full potential.

"I tutored a student while I was in high school and she was in 4th grade, and then another one which is my cousin," says Leach, "all of which suffered with a learning disability, and I saw the struggles they went through and how many hardships."

Leach's platform is Children at Risk, an initiative to get children with learning disabilities to focus on what they excel at. Leach says focusing on creativity and the arts builds their confidence and helps them cope with any disability.

Next on her agenda is becoming Miss America.

"I want to become the first Miss Louisiana to become Miss America," says Leach, "If that's not the plan for me, I want to come back a promote my platform all across the state and be the busiest Miss Louisiana that there's ever been."

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