Mister and Miss SC State

Coronation Ceremony for Teonna Breland, 81st Miss South Carolina State University, and Damien Smith, 5th Mister South Carolina State University

On Thursday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m., the Coronation Ceremony for Teonna Breland, 81st Miss South Carolina State University, and Damien Smith, 5th Mister South Carolina State University, will be held in the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center. Inspired by 1961 film, "Breakfast at Tiffany's," the theme for this year's ceremony is "A Celebration of Timeless Elegance."

Blazing the trail of a relatively new SC State tradition, as the 5th Mister SC State, Smith is a senior mechanical engineering technology major from Hopkins, South Carolina. He is a member of the U. S. Army ROTC, Honors College, 101 Black Men of SC State Society, National Society of Black Engineers and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. He has also held informational forums on campus and participated in campus clean-ups.

Entitled, "Dedication Reloaded 1896," his platform focuses on growing SC State's Bulldog Pride by creating more community service activities for students. He believes that if students participate in impactful activities together, they will build strong relationships with each other and the university. He also believes that student service will build lasting relationships with the community, resulting in an enduring positive image for the university.

Smith said that others saw him as a leader and pushed him to run for Mister SC State, but he always knew he wanted to be an agent for change. He expressed gratitude for those who believe in him and aims to give back by uplifting those around him. He plans to hold more educational forums on campus and help male students learn how to dress and interact professionally, obtain affordable business attire and have their clothes tailored.

Smith recently received a Ronald E. McNair scholarship through his fraternity. Additionally, he completed an internship with the South Carolina Department of Transportation, where he learned how to work with people from different backgrounds. He believes that his Honors College classes prepared him for diverse environments and showed him how to embrace differences among others.

Although adjusting to college life was difficult for him initially, and being from a small town presented its challenges, Smith learned how to balance his life by prioritizing. He said that his fear of failure is what drives him.

"I can't go back home and tell my parents and family that I've failed. They've instilled so much in me, and I have to succeed," he said.

"Being Mister SC State is a part of my journey now, and I take my role seriously. It's about perseverance, sacrifice, uplifting and serving. I just want to be a person that no one is afraid to talk to- a servant leader," he continued.

He plans to serve in the U.S. Army on active duty for 8 to 10 years, then join the National Guard. After serving in the military, he aspires to work in the automotive industry.

Teonna Breland is a senior fashion merchandising major from Charleston, South Carolina. She serves on campus as a Student Orientation Leader and a member of the Honors College and Fashion Merchandising Association. She has served in local schools, reading books to small children and encouraging book donations from fellow SC State classmates.

She previously served as Miss Freshman, Miss Sophomore, Miss Black and Gold and was named a Presidential Scholar throughout her tenure at SC State.

Breland's platform as Miss SC State is called, "The Revival: Restoring the Culture," which embodies supporting and empowering her peers mentally, academically and socially.

After graduating, she plans to earn a master's degree, work in the fashion industry and build a philanthropic platform. Her greatest inspirations in life are her mother, Katesha Breland, and sister, Tyler Breland, who encourage her to always give her best and stay focused.

The Coronation Ceremony will also introduce Mister and Miss SC State's Royal Court, and serve as an induction ceremony for Student Government leaders and Campus Activities Board officers.

For more information about Coronation, contact Davion Petty at (803) 516-4599 or dpetty@scsu.edu. Contact the Office of Student Life and Leadership at (803) 536-4826.

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