Jada Simpson Crowned Miss UCA 2023

Jada Simpson

Jada Simpson

Jada Simpson, a sophomore education major, was crowned the 2023 Miss University of Central Arkansas at Reynolds Performance Hall on Nov. 5.  

“When they called my name – oh my goodness –  it was so surreal,” Simpson said. “When I was crowned it was almost like the room stopped for a second. I was like, ‘Oh wait. They just said your name! You gotta walk up there now.’ It was an indescribable feeling. I’m so incredibly grateful.”

In addition to the title, Simpson won private interview, overall dance performance, the academic achievement award and the producers award. She plans to use her platform to promote an anti-bullying campaign through her social impact topic: “Be a H.E.R.O. and just say no to bullying,” which also ties into her goals of being a future educator.

“It is to ensure that everyone is being helpful, encouraging, respectful, and open to others. As an elementary education major, kids are my passion. I want them to have the most adequate experience in schools that they can, and I know that bullying is a big factor in why many kids dread going to school,” Simpson said. “Nationally, 90% of students grades 4-8 report having been bullied or harassed, and 160,000 students each day refuse to go to school for fear of being bullied. I want to help implement my anti-bullying campaign to hopefully show a decrease in those school bullying cases.”

Simpson also wants to be a role model for young girls, encouraging them to make, pursue and achieve their goals. She is excited to serve as an ambassador for the university.

“I want to serve my time by leading with grace, with confidence and with dignity. I want you to know that after you come in contact with me, you’ll be loved, you’ll be heard and you’ll be seen.”

“Being Miss UCA is about representing the best university,” Simpson said. “During my year as Miss UCA, I want to lead with grace and dignity. I want to ensure that I am being an accurate representation of the entire university and that each person I come in contact with feels the love and acceptance that I have to give.”

Mattison Gafner, a junior double majoring in broadcast journalism and public relations, was first runner-up; Shalexis Shelton, a graduate student in the occupational therapy program, was second runner-up; Jacey Howerton, a public relations major, was third runner-up; and Kennedy Holland, a freshman from Mountain View, was fourth runner-up.

Simpson previously earned the Miss Essence Pageant title in 2021, now in its 47th year. Simpson will compete in the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Competition in June.