Miss Black Wisconsin wants to improve education for black students

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- TeKema Balentine took advanced placement classes, was an athlete and loved to sing and dance. This helped her application when she applied for Miss Black Wisconsin.

"I was so surprised when I found out I got this title," Balentine said.

This title qualifies her to compete in the world's oldest scholarship pageant Miss Black USA August 7-12 in Washington D.C. Miss Black USA has given away more than $500,000 in scholarships over the years since its inception in 1986. It is the largest single source of scholarship funding for women of color.

Balentine will use the scholarship money to continue her education at Madison Area Technical College to become a nurse practitioner.

She is competing on the platform to improve education for black students in Wisconsin. Something Balentine knows firsthand as a graduate of Madison East High School.

"I noticed that people who looked like me were either not in class or not doing very well in class and I want to change that," Balentine said.

To compete in the pageant the costs are around $6,500, Balentine has set up a GoFundMe to help her raise money to compete.

"It feels like a lot of pressure, but I think I'm ready for it," Balentine said. "If I were to win this pageant I would be more than honored to represent the brown community."