A native of Lexington, Marley Stokes was crowned Miss South Carolina USA on 6 March 2021 and represented South Carolina at the Miss USA 2021 pageant in Tulsa, Oklahoma. During both her Teen and Miss reigns Marley promoted her “Crayons for Kids” program in schools, encouraging children to colorfully express themselves. Through Crayons for Kids, Marley has donated almost 100,000 boxes of crayons to children throughout South Carolina.
Miss South Carolina USA, Marley D’Lynn Stokes is a Lexington native and the 2016 Miss South Carolina Teen USA. A licensed phlebotomist, Marley has spent much of the pandemic administering COVID-19 antibody tests. In 2019, she attended the Makeup Forever Academy in New York City and now works as a part-time makeup artist.
Diagnosed in elementary school with learning disabilities, Marley has made it a life’s mission to share her story with elementary schools encouraging children to colorfully express themselves through her “Crayons for Kids” program. “Crayons for Kids” began as a middle school community service project and eventually was shared with children throughout the state of South Carolina.
Marley has modeled at the Atlanta Apparel Mart and the Chicago Merchandise Mart for the likes of pageant and prom designers such as Sherri Hill, Tony Bowls, and Jasz Couture. She has also been featured in ad campaigns within Seventeen Magazine and Teen Vogue Prom
In her spare time, she has found a new love for golfing, often playing with her father. She has also honed some backyard skills in ax throwing as well as archery. She also enjoys working out.
A dancer at heart, Marley trained in dance for more than ten years. She has studied dance in New York City with the Rockettes, Broadway Dance Center, and Steps on Broadway.
The on-stage moments, the tension of the final two and the glory of the crowning, here are Marley’s state pageant photos.
Watch Marley’s life change as she is crowned Miss South Carolina USA 2021. Her first runner-up was Emily Wakeman, Miss North Carolina Teen USA 2016. Emily and Marley were RPM Teen sisters and first and second runner-up at Miss Teen USA 2016.
Lights, camera, action! Professional photoshoots are one of the perks that comes from winning a title.
There’s nothing better than watching a contestant progress from year to year! Marley won the Miss South Carolina Teen USA title on her fourth try and the Miss South Carolina USA on her second. She was second runner-up at Miss Teen USA 2016 in the Bahamas.
At Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2013 she was second runner-up to Tori Sizemore, eventual first runner-up at Miss Teen USA 2013 and future Miss South Carolina USA 2018. Fourth runner-up was K Lee Graham who won Miss South Carolina Teen USA and Miss Teen USA 2014 (Marley placed in the top 10 at Miss SC Teen USA that year).
When she won in 2016, Marley’s first runner-up was MaKenzie Divina, who went on to win Miss South Carolina USA 2019.
All beautiful things must come to an end, no matter how bittersweet. See Marley’s farewell walk and other candids from the weekend she crowned her successor Meera Bhonslé as Miss South Carolina USA 2022.
Winning a state title is a sisterhood for life. Here are “after the crown” photos.