Some say the economy is on the mend. This week, consumer confidence hit a three-year high and new jobless claims dropped unexpectedly. But not everyone has a reason to be so optimistic. Just months after receiving her crown, Miss Colorado USA Blair Griffith lost her home.
The 23-year-old, who will compete in the Miss USA pageant in June, was evicted, along with her mother, from their home last November. They have been living with a family friend ever since. Griffith is also scheduled to lose her job at Saks Fifth Avenue when the branch she works at closes its doors for good next month. Despite her good looks, she's never had it easy. Her father died of cancer when she was a young girl; several years ago her mother had a heart attack. Major surgery followed that "took a toll on the family's finances," she explained in recent interviews.
Her misfortune has made for a unique message: "You do sit there and go, 'Oh gosh, not again.' But at the same time I think it's almost like a test .. to see if you can handle it, and what will you make out of your situation."
Over the past several months, Griffith has been openly discussing her circumstances when speaking at schools and events. On Friday morning, she appeared on NBC's "Today." During the interview, Griffith explained that she didn't know she and her mother were going to be evicted until the sheriff knocked on her door. All her gowns were thrown in the trash during the hectic process.
"I have no place to complain about anything that's going on in my life," Griffith previously told Denver's 9News. There's so many people that are going through the same exact situation. I hope to inspire people."
Once Blair's story began to hit the Web, online interest in the beauty quickly took off. Over the past 24 hours, Web searches for "blair griffith" jumped from almost nothing into the thousands. Related lookups on "blair griffith miss colorado" and "blair griffith pictures" are also surging.
The Miss USA pageant airs on NBC on June 19.