Kyla Gerhardt

GRANITE CITY/EAST ST. LOUIS - Kyla Gerhardt of Granite City was crowned the Miss Illinois Juneteenth for 2023 on June 3, 2023.

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She will represent the state of Illinois in the National Miss Juneteenth Pageant, which will be held in October of 2023.

Kyla, an 18-year-old 2023 graduate of Granite City High School, is a freshman at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville majoring in Early Childhood Education. An accomplished vocalist, Kyla won the talent and essay competitions to win the title of Miss Illinois Juneteenth 2023. She has sung across the country and recently performed at Carnegie Hall.

Kyla uses her voice not only to entertain, but to educate, advocate and be a voice for children without a voice. She believes that musical therapy is the perfect way to give voice and to communicate with nonverbal children.

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In addition to being the 2023 Miss Illinois Juneteenth, Kyla is Fox Teen Talent Finalist and a Silver winner for the National ACT-SO Competition, where she represented the East St. Louis Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

“I am really excited about the opportunity to represent the state as Miss Illinois Juneteenth. I look forward to bringing the National Title back to Illinois,” Kyla said.

Illinois Juneteenth Committee Chairperson Stephanie Taylor said she believes Illinois is equipped to bring home the National Title with Kyla Gerhardt.

“We know we have a winner, and we are asking businesses and organizations from across the state of Illinois to help sponsor our Miss Illinois Juneteenth Kyla Gerhardt as she sets out to bring the Title of National Miss Juneteenth back to Illinois,” Taylor said.

If you are interested in supporting or sponsoring Miss Illinois Juneteenth or would like to invite her to make an appearance at one of your events, please reach out to iljuneteenth@gmail.com or call Stephanie Taylor at 618-514-3199 or Dr. Warletta Brookins at 312-533-9382.

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