Miss Texas, Chelsi Smith, an education major from Houston, was crowned Miss USA 1995 before a home state crowd Friday night.
The 21-year-old sophomore at San Jacinto Junior College, who gives motivational speeches to inner-city youths, won the swimsuit and interview rounds based on judges' scores.Miss USA 1994 Lu Parker of South Carolina crowned her successor.
First runner-up among the 51 delegates was Shanna Lynn Moakler, a 19-year-old fashion model from New York City who won the evening gown competition.
Second runner-up was Nicole Lynn Holmes, 20, of Marion, Ill., a junior at Southern Illinois University.
Pageant organizers said Smith will receive $207,000 in cash and prizes and represent the United States in the Miss Universe pageant this spring in Namibia.
Bob Goen, weekend host of "Entertainment Tonight," and MTV video disc jockey Daisy Fuentes hosted the 44th annual Miss USA pageant, held for the second consecutive year at the South Padre Island Convention Centre.
The event is not connected to the more established Miss America pageant.