Lisa trailblazed making pageant history as the first national titleholder to win with an abstinence until marriage platform. However, due to her training and experience she speaks on a variety of topics. Lisa's background has been instrumental in her pageantry endeavors. It has allowed her to maximize her reigns as Miss Black USA and Miss Ohio United States.

Lisa is a graduate of Cincinnati’s Princeton High School where she was very active in extracurricular activities. She was voted "most active" and "most spirited" by her graduating class and sung One Moment In Time at commencement. She represented the district at Operation Youth, Ohio Association of Student Councils conference, and the Hugh O’Brien Leadership Seminar. Lisa was a cheerleader for football and basketball every year. She was active in student government as class president and an executive board member. She gave the morning announcements every day. Lisa was a member of Acappello Choir and in Princeton’s first show choir, Spectrum. She was awarded a voice lessons scholarship and studied dance for ten years. Lisa also learned how to play the piano. With a love for acting, Lisa earned leading roles in Princeton’s theater productions. She played Irene Molloy in Hello Dolly, Jenny Lind in Barnum, and Madame Ernestine in Little Mary Sunshine. Most recently, Lisa wrote, starred in, and was the assistant director of the production Opera From the Soul. She also joined the cast of the national tour of All Men Can’t Be Dogs, where she starred opposite Grammy award winners Denise Williams, Carvin Winans, and actor Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs.

Lisa graduated from Ohio University’s Scripps Howard School of Journalism after three years with a degree in broadcast news and a specialization in Spanish. She then earned a masters of arts in international affairs with a major in communication and development from this same institution. Lisa busied herself with many activities while staying on top of her studies. Student government, hosting a television talk show, and chairing the Kennedy Lecture Series were a few of her responsibilities. As president of the Black Student Communication Caucus, she founded a student resource guide and newsletter. Lisa also founded a dance troupe called LOS DISCO (Ladies Of Soul Dancing In Sync Company). As a Links counselor, Lisa mentored first-year students. And as a hearing board member, she upheld the community by hearing cases brought against her peers and voting on sanctions. Wherever there was a need in the campus community, Lisa sought to improve.

After completing her graduate studies, she went to Costa Rica to help the United Nations’ International Labor Organization launch a new campaign entitled, "The Legal Empowerment of Indigenous people," before working as a television news reporter for an ABC affiliate.

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