Saidah Grimes, the reigning Miss Black Maryland USA, embodies the phrase "knowledge is power." After graduating from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law with honors, Saidah began practicing real estate law in one of the largest law firms in the country. For her excellence in negotiating sophisticated real estate transactions, Saidah received the honor of being named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine. Prior to attending law school, Saidah graduated magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business where she quadruple majored in international business, corporate finance, global supply chain and operations management and marketing and minored in Spanish. Her dedication to learning and experiencing other cultures inspired her to study abroad in Spain, Argentina and Brazil where she also received a competitive grant to research international procurement and sustainable sourcing of commodities. She is fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese.
During her reign, Saidah intends to promote awareness to issues surrounding the juvenile justice system and its need for reform. As a law student, Saidah interned at the Office of the Public Defender for the Juvenile Division in Baltimore, Maryland where she advocated for youth who were arrested and accused of crimes, winning her first criminal trial prior to graduating law school. "Being Miss Black Maryland USA is an opportunity to advocate for young people who find themselves on the wrong side of the law," Saidah explained. Her platform called "Plug the Pipeline" aims to educate parents and legislative officials on the inherent link between school-based arrests and school disciplinary policies and the growing number of youth in the justice system. "When schools fail to understand how to teach students with disabilities and misidentify their actions as delinquent behavior, these students may find themselves on the wrong side of the law." Saidah dreams of starting a nonprofit focused on helping kids learn effectively advocacy skills to inspire the next generation of prospective attorneys. Join Saidah's efforts to #plugthepipeline.