LMAA contestants at Maggie Hathaway Golf Course. (Courtesy Photo)

Little Miss African American, founded by Lisa Ruffin in 1993, has opened registration for prospective contestants, ages 6 to 12, for their annual scholarship pageant.

LMAA, a nonprofit organization, is celebrating 30 years of communal education and Black girl excellence. Hundreds of previous contestants have grown up to be college graduates, matriculating from colleges such as Howard University, University of Southern California, UCLA, and many other institutions.

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According to Ruffin, LMAA has bred doctors, entrepreneurs, actresses, philanthropists, etc. through the engraining of confidence, awareness, and pride. This past summer, LMAA contestants participated in an array of workshops, curated to instill knowledge and inspire creativity in each girl.

LMAA participants at Debbie Allen’s “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker.” (Courtesy Photo)

Celebrity hair stylist, TV star, and business owner Kim Kimble made an appearance, surprising the girls with an educational seminar revolving around their questions. After her presentation, Kimble gave products from her line, “Kim Kimble Signature Collection,” to the contestants and their parents. The girls also had multiple yoga sessions during lunchtime at rehearsal where they learned to quiet their minds and still their bodies.

Stacey McBride-Irby, former Mattel Black Barbie® designer and creator of IamU Uniquely Beautiful Dolls entranced the girls with her story and presentation of dolls with different hues of brown skin. The girls were also introduced to golf this past September through a clinic developed just for LMAA, which was hosted by Sheila Washington at Maggie Hathaway Golf Course

Along with stimulating workshops, Ruffin said that the girls also get “…an early introduction to the arts and a heightened cultural understanding, as well as training in public speaking, etiquette classes, and scientific experiments while discovering the future of technology.”

This year, LMAA will only be accepting 50 contestants. For more information and to apply go to littlemissafricanamerican.org.