Cranshaw was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. Growing up, Cranshaw’s journey was not easy.
At the age of 12, her mother was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In addition, her father was a struggling alcoholic. This resulted in Cranshaw entering into the foster care system until she aged out at the age of 21.
However, Cranshaw refused to let her childhood determine her success. She graduated from West Potomac High School located in Alexandria, Virginia in 2010. She then attended George Mason University located in Fairfax, Virginia. While there, she was a member of the Social Work Students Association. In 2014, Cranshaw graduated with her bachelor’s degree in social work.
After obtaining her bachelor’s, Cranshaw moved to the Washington D.C. area where she continued her education. She attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore where she graduated with her Master of Social Work in 2015.
Cranshaw has dedicated her work to helping children who face some of the issues she did as a child. She works as an education specialist at D.C. Child and Family Services and has her own organization that assists youth traditionally considered, “at risk,” by providing them tools to make it beyond their current struggles.
Cranshaw first experienced pageants while she was still a teenager in the foster care system. She entered the 2009 Miss Greater Springfield pageant where she was crowned Miss Greater Springfield’s Outstanding Teen 2009. She then went on to compete at the 2009 Miss Virginia’s Outstanding Teen pageant.
Cranshaw did not return to the pageant stage for quite some time. However, in 2015, she registered for the 2016 Miss District of Columbia USA and Teen USA pageant. While she did not make the semi-finals, Cranshaw continued to compete.
Cranshaw returned for her second try at the title when she entered the 2017 Miss District of Columbia USA and Teen USA pageant. This time, she not only made the semi-finals but cracked the Top 5. She ultimately walked away as fourth runner-up to Miss District of Columbia USA 2017, and later Miss USA 2017, Kára McCullough.
Cranshaw returned her third try at the state crown when she registered for the 2018 Miss District of Columbia USA and Teen USA pageant. She was again named fourth runner-up, this time to Miss District of Columbia USA 2018, Bryce Armstrong.
More determined than ever, Cranshaw returned to the Miss District of Columbia USA stage for a fourth time when she registered for the 2019 Miss District of Columbia USA and Teen USA pageant. This time, the crown was hers. Cranshaw was crowned Miss District of Columbia 2019 on December 8, 2018 at the University of The District of Columbia Theatre of the Arts located in Washington D.C.
Cranshaw will go on to compete for the title of Miss USA 2019.
Education Specialist at D.C. Child and Family Services
Which School Did Cordelia Cranshaw Attend?
George Mason University and University of Maryland, Baltimore
FUN FACTS about Cordelia Cranshaw
She has 17 siblings. She is one of the six percent of youth, nationally, to age out of the foster care system at 21 and to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. She is the founder, president and CEO of Acts of Random Kindness.
In the Media
Get to know the newly crowned Miss D.C. USA, Cordelia Cranshaw