Miss Rio Rancho USA shares message of hope

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RIO RANCHO, N.M. – A young Rio Rancho woman didn’t let a cane keep her from claiming not one, but two titles at this year’s Miss New Mexico USA Pageant.

KOB 4 shares how she is now bringing her talent from the limelight to the library. 

“It’s just something about being here. It’s like peaceful and happy, and just like, makes me feel good,” said Jasmin Perry 2023 Miss Rio Rancho USA. 

Perry asked us to meet her on one of her favorite trails in northwest Albuquerque – a path she only recently has been able to walk again.

“I was in a car accident in 2020 that left me walking on my cane. I ended up getting brain swelling from it, and the nerve that it ended up hitting caused leg weakness for me,” said Perry. 

At just 22 years old, Perry became a stranger in her own body. Her confidence was shaken by the reality that she would have to relearn how to walk. But that did not stop her from taking a very important step into the world of pageantry.

“I never saw handicapped people doing this. And so for me, it was like, ‘Okay, there’s several goals here. There’s just getting myself out there and not being embarrassed of being on a cane anymore,’” Perry said. 

With support from her family, and the pageant community, she walked away from the experience with two new titles this year – Miss New Mexico USA People’s Choice, and Miss Congeniality. But also newfound strength.

“I was in such a hard mental state last year. So having to come around with all of this positivity has been so sweet and it’s so kind. And I just feel really overflowed, and I’m just really thankful and blessed for all of these experiences,” said Perry. 

Perry hopes to further spread her message of hope through the new children’s book she wrote and illustrated called “My Black is Divine.”

“My book is all about just kind of doing what I was talking about filling up cups, and just spreading that positivity in that note that people are worthy, and Blackness is divine,” Perry said. “My Black is power, and at the right hour I will not cower, for I can change the world.”