30, 2016 photo shows Miss America contestants at a welcoming ceremony in Atlantic City.
Barber, a Pelham High School graduate and UAB student, is representing Alabama in the 2017 Miss America Competition.
Preliminary competition continues September 8, with the final pageant airing September 11 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
The preliminary was hosted by Miss new Jersey 1995 Dena Blizzard, her eighth year as the emcee.
The award, bestowed to several other Miss America contestants in a silver and gold variation, is part of an worldwide program founded by the United Kingdom's Prince Philip in 1956 that recognizes young people ages 14 to 24 who have made strides in physical fitness, serving their communities or cultivating skills outside of school. "So I am excited to take that on and I hope that my presence will help with visibility for the community".
Jackson called her swimsuit win "a blessing".
And Miss Nevada Bailey Gumm offered, "Over 80 percent of my state is owned by the federal government, so America, you might as well have me, too!".
"Whether it's baked, mashed or fried, I'm one hot potato!" boasted Miss Idaho, Kylee Solberg.
Miss Mississippi Laura Lee Lewis sang "A Piece Of the Sky" from "Yentl", and Miss Colorado Shannon Patilla sang "Something's Got A Hold On Me".
Supporting the military, helping children and seniors figured prominently in the onstage interviews some of the contestants gave.
'One piano can create 1,000 musicians, ' she said.
'As we've all seen with this election year, a talk about immigration has been extremely painful, ' she said.
'Let's face it, ' she continued, 'unless you are Native American, we are all the sons and daughters of immigrants'.