Cierra Kaler-Jones, an Absegami High School graduate, won the crown at the Music Pier Saturday night. Brenna Weick, Sandra Okuboyejo, Lindsey Giannini and Devon Vanderslice were also in the top five, according to the report.
As Miss New Jersey, she will compete in the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City.
Kaler-Jones won the preliminary award for Talent on the first night of the competition Thursday night, according to ocnjdaily.com.
She entered as Miss Coastal Shore, and was one of two Galloway natives who competed in the pageant. The other was Miss South Shore Area Amanda Ross.
Kaler-Jones, 21, is a student at
Rutgers University. Her platform was “Empowering Today’s Youth Through Arts,”
and her talent was “Dance," according to missnewjersey.net.
In 2012, Kaler-Jones told Galloway Patch she was born with dysplasia, a developmental dislocation of the hips. She used the power of dance and her rehabilitation to help her walk after being in a pavlik harness for a couple of years.
When she was in high school at Absegami, the arts program was in danger of being cut. As a member of the advanced dance team, she championed the cause by showing up at Greater Egg Harbor Regional School District Board of Education meetings and was able to help save the program.
She won the Miss Atlantic County Pageant at the age of 17. She was the youngest competitor, and she’s been competing ever since.
She dreams of being a public defender, world traveler, bestselling author, and the next Miss America, according to her blog.
She is now one step closer to being named Miss America.