In a lesson of perseverance, Autumn Black caught the pageant bug as a freshman at the University of Missouri when she lost the first pageant she entered.

Autumn Black, a 24-year-old from Lee’s Summit, MO, has just been crowned Miss Missouri USA 2023. 

Black first competed in a pageant in her freshman year at the University of Missouri, landing first runner-up in the Miss Black & Gold Scholarship Pageant, and she caught the pageant bug.  Since then, she’s won Miss Queen of Hearts 2021, Miss Merry Christmas 2021, and ultimately Miss Missouri USA 2023. 

Black has competed for the Miss Missouri USA for each of the past four years, improving each year. The first year, she placed in the Top 15, then 2nd Runner Up, 1st Runner Up last year, and now she’s earned her crown.

“Dreams don’t work unless you do. If you have a dream, first, prepare for it — then chase it. God put it on your heart for a reason,” said Black in an Instagram post after being crowned Miss Missouri USA 2023.

Later this year, Black will compete in the Miss USA pageant, but she’s a busy gal. After she graduated from Mizzou with a degree in convergence journalism and a minor in business administration, she landed her dream job as a social media manager for Oracle, one of the world’s largest technology companies.

She hosts a web series called “Tech-Z,” which aims to inspire early career professionals and students. Black is also a strong advocate for women’s empowerment. 

She founded “The Flawless Movement,” which provides resources for students to become career-ready and tech-savvy. She is also a hashtag advocate for #advocateHER, encouraging women to embrace their full potential.

The date has yet to be announced for the Miss USA pageant, but it will be live-streamed on Hulu and likely take place in December. To follow Autumn Black’s time as Miss Missouri USA, visit Instagram @autumn_ellece.