Deshauna Barber – An Inspiring story of Perseverance

09 Jan 2020 | Priya Bhardwaj

Do not fear failure but please be terrified of regret.” – Deshauna Barber

There are a few people in the world who leave such a strong impact on others with their work and achievements that their names are forever engraved with gold in the history. Deshauna Barber Miss USA 2016 and Miss Universe 2016 Top 9 is one of those names in the pageant world who established herself with pure perseverance and dedication through the years.

Her life story is exhilarating and moves everyone to do better and be stronger in life. Deshauna joined United States Army Reserve, being a daughter of military veterans, at the age of seventeen. Her strong military background taught her strength, confidence and patience to wait for the right things to fall into place.


Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber


At 19, as she worked in Target part-time, an incident happened which changed her life forever. Barber came face to face with the woman who was the driving force in her life to join the pageant world. The woman came up to her suggesting that Deshauna could become Miss USA as she was the most beautiful girl she had ever seen.

At first, reluctant to enter a world which was frowned upon by the army, Deshauna entered the Miss District of Columbia pageant in 2009 after much consolation by the mystery woman. Unfortunately, Deshauna did not win the state pageant, which is the preliminary to the national pageant. Her story of perseverance began then and there as she decided to give this a try until she succeeded. Year after year, as she talks about at her graduation speech as well, Deshauna entered the state pageant and year after year, she failed. But one thing she never did was resign to her fears of losing.


Deshauna Barber – An Inspiring story of Perseverance


Her purpose was thrown in her laps by this woman, as if the heaven threw it to her by accident but this became her goal, her dream, her obsession for years to come. Finally, after seven long years of try and error through different state pageants such as Miss Virginia USA and Miss District of Columbia USA and amidst the loss of her driving force, in 2016, Deshauna won her state title and went on to participate in Miss USA 2016. Standing Top 2 with Chelsea Hardin, her shining moment came as she became the first member of the military to win the Miss USA title and declared her intentions to promote veterans’ issues during her reign.


Miss Universe USA 2016 Deshauna Barber


With her commitment to the cause and her sacrifices, Deshauna made her way to Manila to participate in Miss Universe 2016, becoming a sensation right at the beginning of the competition. The stunning beauty placed in the Top 9 at the coronation night performing with absolute dedication and grace. Deshauna’s idiosyncrasy became her hardwired tool to success and thus embarked her name in the pageant world.

On her education front, amidst all these events, Deshauna now holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a Master’s degree in Computer Information Systems and Services.  She worked in the government for over 5 years and left her IT Analyst position at Department of Commerce to become Miss USA 2016. Currently, Deshauna is works as a motivational speaker who has made it her life goal to ‘Encourage, Inspire and Strengthen’ the people around her. Being a survivor of child sexual abuse, wants to inspire other survivors to fight through fears of their past. She is now an Army Caption and is heavily inspired by Iyanla Vanzant. She uses her own twist of comedy and story-telling to inspire her audience.



Deshauna Barber – An Inspiring story of Perseverance


Deshauna, through her journey, has proven that failure is a part and parcel of everyone’s lives but how the person takes the failure in their stride and walk out of it with head held high is what matters at the end of the day. In her own words, “Do not fear failure but please be terrified of regret as giving up is the birth of regret.” Her commendable journey is a source of inspiration for countless women who look upto her and wish to overcome their obstacles with same glory and grace.