Mr. Royal Gentleman Charles Benford and Miss ASU Asia Love Cook wave to the crowd from their float during Albany State University’s 2012 homecoming parade. Cook is the grand prize winner of a national contest called “The Ultimate Reign Competition,” sponsored by Verizon Wireless.
ALBANY, Ga. -- Determination, dedication and the ability to rally support are a winning combination. Just ask Miss Albany State University Asia Love Cook.
Cook is the grand prize winner of a national contest called "The Ultimate Reign Competition," sponsored by Verizon Wireless.
The prize package includes $15,000 to support Cook's community service initiative "Be The Key and Unlock the Life" for the American Red Cross; a $5,000 scholarship, and a "tech pack" that includes a Motorola Droid 4G Smartphone and Xyboard tablet, a Bluetooth headset and a gift card valued at $1,500.
Tuwisha Rogers and Krissy Pemberton-Flemmin, representatives from Verizon Wireless, will present the package to Cook Friday in the ASU Student Center Ballroom.
Cook, a senior biology major, is a 2009 graduate of Dougherty Comprehensive High School and campaigned to attract the attention of ASU classmates, students, faculty, staff, alumni, family members and the community, who clicked a link on a website to cast their votes. More than 10,000 votes won her the title.
"It is this kind of initiative and leadership that solidifies Verizon Wireless' commitment to the diverse HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) community," according to a statement in a letter of congratulations to Miss ASU. "We are excited for your accomplishment, and we look forward to seeing how you will use your grand prize award money."
According to Cook, "Winning this competition is solely from my faith in God, the never-ending support of my mother and father, the Albany community and last but not least my unsinkable Golden Ram family. I am elated to be blessed with the award because the competition was fierce; however, God saw that I wanted to do something greater than myself, and He has blessed me with this amazing opportunity."
Cook said the money will be used to encourage students and young people to becoming blood donors. She said she plans to have several blood drives and community outreach programs. She also plans to sponsor a 5K charity run.