Young ladies with Natchitoches ties among Miss Louisiana 2021 contestants


The 2021 Miss Louisiana Competition will be Thursday, June 17 – Saturday, June 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Monroe Civic Center’s WL “Jack” Howard Theatre in Monroe. Miss Louisiana Outstanding Teen Competition finals were Sunday, June 13.

Four young ladies that represent the Natchitoches Queen’s Pageant, as well as three young ladies who attend Northwestern State University, are among this year’s contestants.

They are Miss CenLa’s Outstanding Teen Jesse Foshee and Miss Natchitoches City of Lights’ Outstanding Teen Aubrey Gray (Miss Louisiana Outstanding Teen competition) and Miss Cane River Jacie Brent and Miss Natchitoches City of Lights Carmin Velasquez (Miss Louisiana competition). Three young ladies that attend or have attended Northwestern State University are Miss NSU Lady of the Bracelet JirNeicia Ward, Miss Pride of NSU Madeleine Hensley and Miss Union Parish Jourdan Waddell.

Foshee (2021 Miss Outstanding Teen Top 10) is originally from Provencal. She has attended Provencal Elementary School, NSU Middle Lab School and Natchitoches Central High School. Her platform issue is “Court Appointed Advocates for Children.” Her talent is a high-energy dance solo, “Thunderstruck.” Her scholastic and career ambitions include obtaining a degree in law from Louisiana State University as a child advocate and to become a dance studio owner. Foshee has been on the honor roll all periods, takes honors classes and in gifted and talented for orchestra.  She is the secretary for Student Government Organization; Future Business Leaders of America officer; member of Natchitoches Central High School Maroon Dance Line; and Group Leader for Youth Signing at Provencal First Baptist Church. She is also Miss (NYLA) New York Los Angeles Dance Regional title holder; Miss Edge Dance Regional title holder; Miss Revolution Dance Regional title holder; Edge Dance nationals performance team member; Miss Provencal Fall Fest two consecutive years; won State and festival competition with the orchestra for five consecutive years; and helped start the youth signing team at her church.

Gray is originally from Heflin. She has attended Glenbrook Elementary, Junior and High School, and Haughton High School. Her platform issue is “Be the Change You Want to See in the World.” Her vocal talent is “That’s Life.” Scholastic and career ambitions include obtaining a bachelor of science in child and family studies and becoming a child counselor. Gray is on the honor roll with a 3.5 GPA and was a National Honor Society inductee at Glenbrook High School. She is also a Bossier Youth Leadership graduate, May 2021; varsity cheerleader, 2021-22; varsity cheerleader, 2018-20; JV cheerleader, 2016-18; Smile Club President; Christian Club member; Glee Club member; and FBLA member. She placed fourth in State and second in District in the high jump; fifth in State, third in South-State and first in District in the 400 meter dash. She competed five years as a cheer athlete on Spirit of Cheer competitive cheer team and elected “Class Favorite” six years. She regularly volunteers at the Joe LeBlanc Food Pantry, the Seeds Women’s Center, Special Olympics and St. Jude, and particularly enjoys working with younger students on activities that demonstrate the importance of kindness.

Brent is originally from Minden. She received her high school diploma from Minden High School in 2017 and had a 3.6 GPA. She is a recent graduate with a communications degree at Louisiana Tech University, where she has been on the President’s and Dean’s List. Her social impact initiative is “Nothing but Positive” and her talent is “Anyway” by Martina McBride. She has worked as an office worker in the Communications Department at Tech, and has also been a background actress on numerous TV shows and movies. Brent is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS); Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement (SCLA); National Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi); Alpha Psi Omega National Theater Honor Society; and Louisiana Tech Peer Leadership Council (PLC). She is also a member of the Tech Theater Players and is a Louisiana Tech Theater scholarship recipient.  She is a four-year member of Tri Delta (Legacy), member of Sigma Phi Lambda and on the BCM Leadership Community Building Team.


Velasquez of Sterlington graduated from Sterlington High School in 2018. She was on the Sterlington Prancin’ Panthers dance team from 2014-18 and was captain from 2016-18. She was the president of the Hispanic Honor Society from 2017-18. Velasquez was also a member of the FCA, ULM Presidents Academy in 2017, Student Council from 2015-18, Track and Country Club, Spanish Club and Beta Club. She attends University of Louisiana and is a political science major with a minor in communications advocacy. She is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, ULM Hawkline since 2018 and Phi Mu Fraternity. She received the Hawkline Community Service Award in 2019 and 2020, was on the Delta Sigma Carnation Court in 2020 and 2021, and is on the ULM honors program. She is a floor manager at Fiesta Linda in Sterlington since 2016 and was a marketing intern at ULM Monroe Aramark from 2019-20. Her social impact initiative is “Don’t Worry, ‘Beat’ Happy.”

Ward of Bossier City is a Senior Computer Information Systems student at Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Her social impact initiative is “CSI: Technology.” She has several years of experience in dance and music. She is a volunteer election poll worker and did administrative work for the Air Force JROTC leadership course. Ward won second place in the 2020 Inferno Pitch.

Hensley’s talent is Jazz Dance en Pointe. Her social impact initiative is “Be K.I.N.D.”

Jourdan Waddell’s Her talent is dance and her social impact initiative is “Stomping on the Mental Health Stigma.”

“Miss Louisiana 2020, Courtney Hammons, has done a wonderful job representing the state and representing our organization. She stepped into this job during a very dark time in our world’s history, but Courtney has brought light to all those she has encountered. She is a wonderful young lady who will do great things,” said Executive Director Dewana Little.

Miss Louisiana’s preliminary competition was Thursday and Friday and the live statewide telecast was Saturday, June 12. This year’s show will feature Miss Louisiana 2020, Courtney Hammons; 2007, Amanda Joseph May; 2013, Jaden Hubbard; 2011, Hope Fruge; 2015, April Aran; 2019, Meagan Crews; and the Miss Louisiana Band and Dancers.

Ed Walsh and Melissa Whitworth will be emcees. Also featured will be the 30 candidates and Fleur de Lis Princesses.

The Miss Louisiana Organization has a volunteer-based Board of Directors that works to share the accomplishments of the 30 candidates and provide scholarships to further their education. The Miss Louisiana Organization will award over $60,000 in cash scholarships this year, with over $500,000 in cash and in-kind scholarships made available.  The Miss Louisiana Organization is part of the Miss America Organization, the number one provider of scholarships for women in the world.