Daja Dial is crowned Miss South Carolina 2015 during the Miss South Carolina pageant at the Township Auditorium in Columbia Saturday evening. Dial, a former Jonesville resident, will represent South Carolina in this year’s Miss America pageant on Sept. 14.
Former Jonesville resident Daja Dial is Miss South Carolina 2015. Her platform issue is Type I & Type II Diabetes Mellitus.
COLUMBIA — A former Jonesville resident who made history as the first African-American to be crowned Miss Clemson University made history again Saturday when she became the third African-American to be crowned Miss South Carolina.
Daja Dial, 22, a senior a Clemson University, was crowned Miss South Carolina 2015 during the Miss South Carolina pageant at Township Auditorium in Columbia Saturday evening. As Miss South Carolina, Dial will represent the state in the Miss American pageant at Atlantic City, NJ, on Sept. 14.
In the history of the Miss America pageant, a Miss South Carolina has won the title twice, in 1957 and 1994.
As a child, Dial live in Jonesville and attended elementary school there. She is a now a resident of Spartanburg and went to the Miss South Carolina pageant as Miss Greenville County. It was her second time competing for the Miss South Carolina crown. In 2014 she was second runner-up.
Dial is the third African-American to win to be named Miss South Carolina. In 2013 she became the first African-American to win the title of Miss Clemson University.
In the talent portion of the pageant, Dial sang “I Believe.”
During the question and answer portion of the pageant, Dial was asked about the Confederate Battle Flag and said it should be removed from the grounds of the State Capitol. She reiterated her position during a press conference on Sunday, saying that the flag should be placed in a museum.
Dial, who was born on March 22, 1993, is majoring in Health Administration at Clemson University. Her scholastic/career ambition is to obtain a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Her scholastic honors include Clemson Athletic Scholarship — Cheerleading; LIFE Scholarship; recipient of the Dorman Academic Diploma — with Honors.
Dial’s Leadership Roles include Student Advisory Board Member; Student Government Activities Committee Member; Clemson University Cheerleading Senior Leader; American Diabetes Association — Upstate, South Carolina Committee Member.
In addition to being Miss South Carolina 2014 2nd Runner Up, Dial’s accomplishments prior to being crowned Miss South Carolina including Miss South Carolina 2014 Preliminary Talent Winner; Miss South Carolina 2013 Top 10 Finalist; recognized as a Student Affairs Student Leader, Internship with Clemson’s Athletic Department; Miss Clemson University 2013; Named a Clemson University Cheerleading Senior Leader; Miss South Carolina Teen Top 10; Duke of Edinburgh Gold Recipient.
Dial works as an Undergraduate Student Assistant in the athletic department at Clemson University.
Dial’s Miss South Carolina Platform Issue is Type I & Type II Diabetes Mellitus. Below is her statements regarding various aspects of her platform issue.
Platform Statement: As Miss South Carolina 2015, I will continue to advocate for individuals affected by the autoimmune disease that is Type I Diabetes and the national epidemic that is Type II Diabetes. My mission is to educate, further raise funds for a cure, and improve our society’s public health.”
Needs Statement: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that more than 29 million people have diabetes, with 1 in 4 individuals going undiagnosed. In the 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report, the health data from 2012 showed that over 208,000 people younger than 20 years old have been diagnosed with diabetes (type I or type Il). The rates for those diagnosed are rapidly increasing, along with the medical costs related to complications from diabetes. In 2012, $245 billion dollars was spent in total, up from $ 174 billion in 2007. The number of cases of heart disease, kidney disease, neuropathy, and fatalities will continue to rise due to diabetes and define our public health system for generations to come; if the increase of diabetes diagnoses is not halted.
Research shows that beyond genetic variation, type I diabetes could be triggered by environmental determinants, while type II diabetes can be managed or even avoided through physical activity, diet, and appropriate use of insulin medications to lower blood sugar levels. It is important to reflect on the times in which we live, and in these times it is imperative that we engage in what is happening in the world around us in order to manage public health and ultimately save lives.
My Platform Involvement: In December of 2009 my brother, Nicholas’, life was changed forever when he was diagnosed with type I diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus). At that pivotal time in my brother’s life, our family was desperate to find a cure, when his 6’ 5” frame weighed an alarming 120 pounds and blood glucose levels over 800 (can lead to coma or death).
In 2010, Nicholas’ journey with type I diabetes stemmed my involvement with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and their former annual “Sugar Ball” held in Upstate, South Carolina. It was during that time with ADA that I learned what it means to embody their mission, “to prevent and cure diabetes and improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes”. These experiences catalyzed my interest in the health field and helped me set ambitions for myself that I may not have otherwise formed on my own, which changed the course of my life forever.
Currently, as a committee member of ADA — Upstate, South Carolina, I have helped share across the state how this organization can empower people to make a difference, change the world, and save a life. Collaboratively, I worked closely with my fellow ADA committee members to bring a fundraising gala back to the Upstate, (STOP Diabetes Gala), that aimed to STOP diabetes in its tracks by educating residents in the Upstate and surrounding areas. It is through these efforts that I aim to involve parents, teachers, communities, and legislators to invest their time and money to preparing America for life without diabetes.
Funding Approach: Serving as a committee member of ADA — Upstate, South Carolina, I work closely with donors from the Upstate and surrounding areas to plan fundraising events that will garner donations that help with management, research, information, advocacy & and public awareness. Over 100,000 dollars was raised at the 2015 STOP Diabetes Gala and millions of dollars in donations overall flow through the national association yearly.
Marketing Strategy: As Miss South Carolina, I will move to be an advocate for diabetics in our State and nation. Building on existing relationships with donors and building new relationships with state policy makers, I will further raise awareness concerning the issues of type I and type II diabetes through social media and traditional media outlets, like television and radio. With billions of dollars allotted for due to medical costs related to diabetes, we need to implement educational experiences for all of our citizens. Doctors, educators, legislators, and advocates that are “plugged-in” to their communities can help develop the dialogue that needs to occur. These dialogues will aid in equipping our communities with the knowledge they need to guide themselves and ultimately America into a new age of public health.