Ericka Dunlap speaks to UCF students about personal image

Ericka Dunlap, Miss America 2004, spoke to students in the Student Union recently on the techniques she uses to look and feel her best. 

Dunlap, a COS alumna, was invited by the UCF Campus Activities Board, to speak to students about the importance of building self-esteem and accepting your self-image.

“What the Miss America organization prides themselves in is letting women believe that they’re beautiful, but in an unusual sense of the word that women are allowed to [be] powerful,” Alexa Schmidt, Miss UCF 2012, said.

Around 70 students and the candidates for Miss & Mr. UCF 2013, gathered in the Pegasus Ballroom, as Dunlap told her story about how she went from becoming the first African-American Miss Florida to becoming Miss America.

Growing up in Orlando, Dunlap began her pageant career at the age of six and went on to major in advertising and public relations at UCF. Dunlap then set her sights on winning the Miss America Pageant. After serious dedication and commitment she achieved her dream in 2004. As Miss America, Dunlap promoted her platform of multicultural inclusion titled: “United we stand, divided we fall behind.”

“As a part of my journey, I had to realize that I was unique,” Dunlap expressed to the audience. “A lot of the time, that is something we all have struggles with understanding our uniqueness, and understanding how to be ok with it.”

In college she realized that being “different is your existence, in developing who you want to be, expressing and branding is who we are as people.”

Read the full story from the Central Florida Future here.

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