Kentucky State University’s 2018-19 Miss KSU accomplished much during her college career, but she’s only getting started.

Cierra Couch, a graduating senior from Indianapolis, said Kentucky State felt like home from the time she toured campus.

“I was also recruited to play volleyball, so both of my goals of attending an HBCU (Historically Black College and University) and playing college volleyball were fulfilled,” Couch said.

The business major plans to earn a master’s degree in fashion studies. She’d also like to earn a cosmetology license to continue to do make-up.

“Soon, I would also like to create my own entity that will serve as a space for young girls to gain mentorship, learn how to stand firm in who they are, gain confidence and encouragement and provide opportunities of all kinds to enhance their natural abilities and gifts,” Couch said.

Couch’s accomplishments at Kentucky State could fill volumes. The 89th Miss Kentucky State University has played for multiple conference champion teams, gone on tour with the concert choir in 2016, chartered a chapter of Curly in College and was voted Miss Freshman, Miss Sophomore, Miss Junior and Miss KSU. Couch also participated in the Student Government Association (SGA), the Gospel Ensemble, KSU Girls Rock, served as a new student orientation leader, Profashionals and was voted Miss Diamond 2018-19.

Couch said of her favorite memories include her coronation, gaining friends for life and visiting schools in Atlanta with her peers and Kentucky State University First Lady Adrienne Allen-Brown, Kentucky State University Board of Regents Chairperson Dr. Elaine Farris and Kentucky State University Senior Vice President Clara Ross Stamps.

Couch said Ray Bankston Jr., assistant director for campus life, has had the most influence on her at Kentucky State.

“I’ve worked very closely with him since my sophomore year and he just became a big brother, advisor and mentor all in one,” Couch said. “He’s spoken great things over my life, been my shoulder to cry on and is one of my biggest supporters. He’s always been honest with me and never hesitates to do so, but with love.”

Couch said if she could offer advice to current and future Thorobreds, it would be to not let the pressures of school force someone to lose sight of the bigger picture.

“Whether that’s building a better life for yourself or family, being better than the situation you come from or event just graduating to make yourself and your family proud,” Couch said. “Everyone has a purpose and a responsibility to walk in that, but you must be educated and continue to seek knowledge in all forms to be the best and the brightest.”

Couch also offered wisdom to women in general.

“Your fairytale will come true and you are deserving of great things,” Couch said. “Know that you are powerful beyond measure and this world would be nothing without you. Always strive for excellence, be fierce and remain classy and fabulous.”

Couch and her classmates will cross the stage Friday, May 10 during commencement in the William Exum Center gymnasium.