Whitehurst wants her legacy to be her impact on the student body


David Campbell/University Photographer

Yasmine Whitehurst, Miss Alabama State University 2020-21, waves to the crowd after her formal introduction during the Coronation ceremonies that were held on Saturday, Oct. 24.

Nefsa'Hyatt Brown, Editor-in-Chief

Serving as the face of Alabama State University is no small task, however, after officially being crowned the 81st Miss Alabama State University on Oct. 24, Yasmine Whitehurst, a senior interdisciplinary studies major, has taken on this task with both pride and humility.

“I am grateful and blessed to be selected to serve the student body,” as the Shreveport, La. native is still in awe of the fact that she was elected as the 81st Miss ASU.

“When I was named as Miss Alabama State University, I felt extremely overjoyed, honored, and even surprised,” she said, explaining the feeling of being named earlier this year. “Becoming an HBCU queen was never in my plan, so I was in complete awe of the fact that it actually happened.”

Running on the platform “Elevate the C.U.L.T.U.R.E.”, Whitehurst has dedicated her reign to “restoring the love, pride and passion” of the university. Despite the fact that Alabama State University was not her first choice, she accredits the “family environment, space for growth and limitless possibilities” as the reasons she decided to complete her collegiate career at ASU. Hoping to continue to promote that family environment, she aspires to use her platform as Miss ASU to “elevate the culture of our campus by connecting, unifying, leaping in faith, uplifting, respecting and enhancing the experience for everyone.”

Keeping her focus on the student body, Whitehurst’s initial plans for the year are rooted in creating academic, collegiate, and professional growth opportunities. By bringing activities to campus such as the Hornet Day of Service and continuing the Build-a-Hornet mentoring program, which was started by former 2018-19 Miss ASU Arianna Thompson, Whitehurst plans to utilize her platform to assist the student body.

However, beginning her reign during a global pandemic has resulted in the modification of many of the initial plans. Positively, she has not let that deter her.

“My plans have not changed, but they have been modified; I don’t believe in canceling ideas and initiatives because our situation looks different,” she said. “I believe we can be innovative during this time to be as impactful as possible. I have done many things that were not in my plans. I like to do activities that are beneficial during that time.”

Similarly to the world’s unprecedented state, Whitehurst’s reign has included many changes, one of the most impactful being that she does not have attendants to serve on her royal court. Instead of attendants, the royal court now consists of herself, and each class queens Miss Senior Tiffany Bailey, Miss Junior Dy’Oni Charlton, Miss Sophomore Daniya Mitchell, and Miss Freshman Justice Murphy.

“This year, I have decided to engage my court in event planning and hosting activities for the student body,” said Whitehurst explaining how she has incorporated the royal court into her plans for the academic year. “Finding ways to keep them active has been one of my struggles, but we have been working to split the workload and remain as involved as possible.”

After being selected as Miss ASU virtually in April, Miss ASU hit the ground running. As the fall semester winds down, she has hosted a plethora of events for the student body, including a virtual College 101: Do’s and Don’ts, a Hornet Hotline Q&A with the student body president David Hammond, a card revoked game night, Surviving #MyASU Q&A, a virtual workout class, and three praise and worship sessions. Along with launching her mentoring program, Whitehurst also hosted a hurricane relief drive collecting over 100 cases of water and other donations such as toiletries, socks, and cleaning supplies from over 70 donors to distribute throughout southern Louisiana and Alabama.

Expecting to be challenged and forced to step outside of her comfort zone as Miss ASU, Whitehurst spoke candidly about her expectations versus reality in her new position. As she was not familiar with the Miss ASU program before running, Whitehurst explained that she did not have many expectations, yet she wanted to make the best of the position and knew that she would “make it her own” regardless. Working through the challenges of incorporating the royal court and adjusting to navigating her position through a pandemic, she relies on God to keep her grounded.

“Each time I hit an obstacle, I remember that God has placed me in this position for a reason, and each obstacle is building me for the next step,” she said. “I also remain mindful of those who have supported me and who are inspired by the work that I do.”

Set to graduate in May 2021, Whitehurst plans to move to Atlanta, Ga., to pursue a career in dance. She also plans to become a licensed cosmetologist as well as a certified personal trainer. Hoping to continue to be engaged in dance, fitness, and hair, the former Stingette captain wishes to continue using her platform to inspire others beyond the university.