Between the years, she has studied accounting at NC State, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and is two classes away from her graduate degree. Edmonds also has a job lined up with professional services firm Ernst & Young and is an accomplished singer.
Edmond’s childhood experiences were the motivation behind the platform she will promote as Miss North Carolina — promoting youth literacy. “When I was younger, in second grade, I struggled with reading myself,” she says.
Few years ago, Edmonds helped her mother’s fourth grade class at Littlefield Middle School at Lumberton, N.C., her hometown, prepare for a Battle of the Books competition. The class won the county championship.
“I was thrilled by the passion of the children,” she says. “It was so exciting. And these students were the top of their class. I realized that I wanted to spread this passion and excitement to other children. Reading is essential for being able to reach any goal and I want to give that to every child. The crown gives you a portal to do so, and with my own struggle with literacy, it made more sense.”
Edmonds has been busy making public appearances and meeting people across the state to help promote her platform. She has spoken to the state House of Representatives about literacy. She has also met with June Atkinson, the state superintendent of public institutions, to further her cause.
“I will use the next year talking to people about reforming public institutions and enhancing policy focus on increasing literacy. It’s like getting back to the basics of education,” says Edmonds. “I want this to be my legacy.”
Edmonds also serves on the board of directors for the Helps Education Fund, an organization started by NC State psychology professor John Begeny to support educators in their efforts to improve education outcomes. She also volunteers at the YMCA as a tutor and helps children with reading.
Her next focus is the Miss America competition. She is particularly excited about the shoe parade to be organized as part of the competition. “I will be wearing NC State gear for the shoe parade. I am so excited about that,” she says.
After her pageant responsibilities are over, she wants to begin her job at Ernst & Young. “I am looking forward to joining E &Y once this is over,” she says. “I will consider other opportunities like that of public motivational speaking or entertainment that may come along later.”