Born and raised in West Columbia, S.C., Jocelyn "Joy" McElveen has always been a tomboy even though she has also competed in beauty pageants. Her mother raised her alone while also serving in the South Carolina Army National Guard during the Gulf War. McElveen played basketball for 13 years and was chosen to represent the United States in Italy on the People To People Sports Ambassador Team while she was in high school and is proud to report she brought back the gold. She was in JROTC, honor's choir, varsity basketball and varsity track all four years of high school. Joy was also a student body president and a member of the National Honor Society. At 19, she made history in South Carolina for being the first African-American to win the Miss Sun Fun USA crown. She attended the University of South Carolina at Aiken for two years before moving to New York to attend Lehman Performing Arts College for one year. Her hobbies include basketball, singing, board games and motivational speaking at high schools and elementary schools. She describes herself as driven, vibrant and energetic. She is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. She has one sister, Tammy, and one brother, Maurice.
McElveen currently resides in West Columbia, SC.
Her birth date is Oct. 17, 1985.