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Inside Miss DC’s bid to become the next Miss America

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Cierra Jackson is an army kid who has lived all over the world, even South Korea, but she proudly wears the crown as Miss DC and hopes to take home the Miss America 2017 title on September 11.

Jackson won Miss DC in June, on a platform of supporting military families like her own. She calls her platform 'Behind the Frontline' and focuses primarily on children of military families.

Her father served the United States, and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result, as well as a brain injury.

“We have to realize as Americans as military children that there is so much more that we need to do for military families," said Jackson in an interview.

In addition to her long pageant career, she is also a former White House intern and a Spelman College graduate who studied political science.

So far in the Miss America 2017 competition, Jackson has won a preliminary award for lifestyle and fitness.

“I want to inspire people to be their true authentic selves. So many times during my pageantry experience people have told me that I shouldn’t wear my hair naturally curly, and it was something that made me a little bit different," said Jackson. "No matter what your differences are, no matter how you are, I want you to know that you can be your true authentic self."

The Miss America pageant will be held this Sunday in Atlantic City, New Jersey.