A junior at the University of Oklahoma and a former valedictorian of Midwest City-Del City's Carl Albert High School was crowned 1996 Miss Black America on Sunday.

Basheerah Ahmad, 20, beat six other finalists after winning the talent, swimsuit and interview projection contests at the Miss Black America Pageant at Lane College in Jackson, Tenn. The contests concluded with Ahmad's selection about 12:30 a.m. Sunday, a judge said.

Ahmad's victory marks the second consecutive year for an Oklahoman to be crowned Miss Black America. The 1995 Miss Black America was Karen Wallace.

Between 1990 and 1993, Ahmad, the daughter of Dr. Jihad and Joy Ahmad of Choctaw, was a model used on the cover of two brochures promoting Oklahoma as "Someplace Special. " She was crowned Miss Black University of Oklahoma in February and then Miss Black Oklahoma in August.

Ahmad's platform was promotion of culture and art. She was a longtime classical ballet student at Ballet Oklahoma and studied ballet at the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute for five years. Ahmad was also an 11-year classical piano student and received superior ratings at state competitions.

Ahmad also has served as a counselor/mentor for Eagle Ridge Institute's Positive Futures program targeted at troubled teen-age girls. Her post-graduate plans include a master's of business administration and law school.

Basheerah spent her reigning year traveling the country promoting Healthy Living through the Arts. A year later, she graduated from the University of Oklahoma, with honors, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and in 2001, a Master’s Degree in Organizational Development.  While completing her education she continued to work in the areas closest to her heart; youth mentorship and performing arts. From 1998 to 2001, she helped create several groundbreaking youth performing arts programs in the state of Oklahoma.   In addition to helping youth find their voices through performing arts, Basheerah also worked for years as a Youth Mentor, Drug and Alcohol Preventionist, and Sex Education facilitator in the non-profit arena.

It was as she worked as an Artistic Director for Inner City Dance in Oklahoma City that Basheerah began to take a closer look at the health of her students. Although many of them were extremely talented, they were not healthy. It was at this point in her life that Basheerah began to dedicate her career to the world of obesity and injury prevention. In 2001, Basheerah decided to take her love for performing and fitness to another level by moving to Los Angeles, CA.  After years of hard work and preparation, she is considered one of the fastest rising Fitness Experts in the industry.

Basheerah’s list of clients includes:

Carrie Underwood, Vivica A. Fox, Steve Harvey, Jordin Sparks, Lauren Alaina, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Chante’ Moore, Keith Robinson, Andre Pitre’, and numerous others.

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