5 On Your Side

More than two years later, Wake student still hasn't received $2,500 pageant prize

Posted January 21, 2015
Updated January 22, 2015

Naya Coard
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— A Wake County student who was crowned Miss Black USA Talented Teen in 2012 says she has yet to receive her $2,500 scholarship from the pageant, so she contacted 5 On Your Side for help.

“It’s really frustrating,” said Naya Coard, who has been waiting on the money so she can pay her tuition bill.

“I currently have a hold on my account, and I’m applying for internships and I’m applying for different scholarships, and they ask me for my unofficial transcript," she added. "And the fact that I have a hold on my account doesn’t allow me to get my unofficial transcript from the school or online.”

Naya’s mother, Stephanie Irby Coard, says she has been round and round with pageant officials and has their promises of payment detailed in email after email.

"I feel as if they're just waiting for me to forget about this or somehow just go away, but I'm not, because it's not right,” she said. “We have documentation saying that she is going to get it. We have documentation showing that it was sent but never received. We have documentation saying it will be re-issued. We have dates. We have deadlines. They just never get met.”

Online, the Miss Black USA pageant touts the more than $300,000 in scholarships awarded.

WRAL’s 5 On Your Side reached out to several people involved with the pageant, including founder Karen Arrington, through phone calls, emails and messages on Twitter and Facebook. The organizer for the state pageant, Anthony Vann, was also contacted. Vann is also listed as an executive producer and a director of development for the national pageant.

After Vann contacted the national organization, 5 On Your Side heard from Miss Black USA spokeswoman Renee Stallworth.

Stallworth mentioned "unusual delays" related to management changes and said the scholarship would be sent "within the next several weeks."

When questioned why it would still take weeks, Stallworth revised the timeline to "7 to 10 days if not sooner.”

For Naya, while the crown, sash and trophy are all nice, “it’s not a scholarship,” she said. “I’d much rather have the $2,500, the scholarship money.”

WRAL’s 5 On Your Side checked with the winner of last August's pageant, who said she did receive her scholarship money. Naya should have hers by the end of the week, and 5 On Your Side will keep everyone posted.


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  • DB Cooper, Jr. Jan 27, 2015

    Why is WRAL promoting segregation

  • Kyle Clarkson Jan 26, 2015
    user avatar

    John Oliver did a great piece on pageants and scholarship fraud. The pageants get sponsors to donate money, and end up keeping the money to themselves.

  • theliberadicator Jan 26, 2015

    That's nothing. Most Americans, the ones that were told they would get a $2,500 reduction in their healthcare coverage costs, are still waiting for theirs too.

    Life ain't fair honey.

  • Brian Jenkins Jan 23, 2015

    View quoted thread

    The entire pageant sounds racist. Why is there no "Miss White USA Talented Teen"? Not that there should be but I could only image the comments then.

  • 678devilish Jan 23, 2015

    The pageant officials should really step up and make this right for this young lady. She won so now she should have had the award 2 years ago. No excuse for it. Sorry, but if the young lady had been white, would she have receive her reward immediately after. Seem like race is a strong factor in today's times.

  • moomoo Jan 22, 2015

    View quoted thread

    You are doing a good job by yourself. lol--Read what you wrote.

  • dollibug Jan 22, 2015

    This must be a *sign of the times*....as there are lots of agencies who DO NOT LIVE UP TO WHAT THEY SAY. Companies included as well. I worked for a company for over 14 years and was laid off 2 days after I had surgery. I had a *disability policy in force* and the company would NOT submit my hospital stay for the benefits that I was entitled to. Eventually I had to apply for disability. I had filed a worker's comp claim and the company decided not to file the *disability paperwork*. It is quite interesting what can happen and NO ONE is held accountable for what they do.

  • Larry Lynch Jan 22, 2015
    user avatar

    shouldn't this pagent be examined for blatant racism? I abhor double standards an this is certainly representitve of willing and supported racism by the black community.

  • 68_dodge_polara Jan 22, 2015

    View quoted thread

    How could anyone steal a child's scholarship money? Not that it didn't apparently happen though.

  • Obamacare for you and I Jan 22, 2015

    Probably because an event organizer already stole the money.