In 1958, Miss DeVore decided that she wanted to showcase internationally the “New Image of People of Color” so she sought a window to the world. This she believed would accelerate worldwide acceptance of this new phenomenon.
So, in 1959, DeVore traveled to France with a young, aspiring African-American female and achieved the most compelling feat ever in positive imagery for People of Color. This bright-eyed, energetic, beauty was Cecelia Cooper. Cecelia had natural charisma, that je ne sais quoi. After Cecelia won the 1959 Miss Empire State Pageant, DeVore took Cecelia under her wing; professionally groomed her, and for experience, exposed her in local promotions and competitions to build Cecelia’s confidence and enhance her self-esteem. This was a valuable lesson DeVore taught Cooper, that belief in a winning philosophy is vital for success.