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miss america contestants 2018

Meet The 51 Contestants For Miss America 2018

miss america 2018

Finally, we get to meet the 51 beautiful women who could become our next Miss America! Click through our gallery to see every contestant, and find out what makes them special!


With just days to go before Miss America 2018 kicks off, the organization has released the official portraits of all 51 contestants. Naturally, they’re beautiful and incredibly talented. And now, these state pageant winners could get the biggest honor in their industry: winning that Miss America crown! This year’s pageant will be broadcast from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, bringing together a group of women who are violinists, pianists, dancers, and so much more. We can’t wait to see it all in person! But first, let’s meet those amazing contestants! And be sure to scroll through our gallery above to see each and every one of those 51 beautiful portraits!


Miss America 2018

Miss Alabama: Jessica Procter

Jessica is from Tuscaloosa. Her platform is “Step Up to the Plate: Decreasing Food Insecurity” and she’ll be singing for the talent round. Her dream is to sing one day with Tori Kelly! Her bio on the Miss America site reads: “As one half of the coffeehouse acoustic duo, You and I, this aspiring singer/songwriter’s typical day might include listening to a troubled eighth grade girl over breakfast, attending college classes, polishing lyrics in her latest song, dropping off donations to the food bank, running to a sporting event, or packaging and delivering leftover food. The daughter of international opera singers, Jessica is intrigued by the thrills and challenges of performing, and knows it will always be a part of her life.”


Miss America contestants 2018

Miss Alaska: Angelina Klapperich

Angelina has a strange connection to politics, despite not being in them herself. She’s from the same town as Sarah Palin — Wasilla. Sarah actually competed in the Miss Alaska pageant (she came third). Her platform is “Be Compassionate! Every Person Fights a Personal Battle.” She’ll be playing the piano as her talent.

“Angelina’s soul thrives on genuinely connecting with people from all walks of life and helping them feel valued. After the tragic death of her friend who took his own life, she realized that every person is fighting a personal battle. As Miss America, she would utilize her degree in psychology and her deeply compassionate heart to reach out and listen to those struggling, and teach concrete strategies of how to act with compassion and humility in our daily lives.”


Miss Arizona: MaddieRose Holler

MaddieRose is from Phoenix. Her platform is “Supporting Our Military and Their Families” and she’ll be singing for the competiton. “As the daughter of a Filipina immigrant and a 20-year U.S. Navy corpsman, MaddieRose learned the values of discipline, hard work, and perseverance at an early age. Earning nearly $14,000 in MAO scholarships, she is funding her education at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication as a first-generation college student. Utilizing her desire to serve those who serve us, she assumed the role of President for the Arizona 501(c)3, Military Family Support Group.”


Miss Arkansas: Maggie Benton

Maggie is from Jonesboro. Her platform is “Giving is a Gift” and she’ll be singing “The Music of the Night” as her talent. “Maggie strives to be the bold, influential, and warm-hearted woman that Miss America is supposed to be. On June 17th, a five-year dream came true when Maggie was crowned Miss Arkansas 2017. The hours of hard work and preparation has finally allowed her the opportunity to travel and promote her platform, “Giving is a Gift,” that strives to help communities understand what a gift it can be to give.”


Miss California: Jillian Smith

Jillian is from Grass Valley. Her platform is “Dude Be Nice Project” and she’ll be playing the piano. Interestingly, her dream is to serenaded by Wayne Brady. “Jillian, a broadcast journalism major and music minor at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo…is one of seven granddaughters, all of whom have competed in a Miss America preliminary competition. Jillian has trained as a classical pianist for 17 years, and she also plays the harp and guitar. At 18, she started a program called ‘Arts in the Afternoon’ where she spent a year teaching a third grade class to play the recorder and read treble clef.


Miss Colorado: Meredith Winnefeld

Meredith is from Highlands Ranch. Her platform is “The Eyes Have It: Focusing Our Vision on the Future” and she’ll be twirl dancing at Miss America. “Being visually impaired since birth, Meredith has used her voice as a titleholder to educate, inform, and promote her platform of early intervention that can diagnose and prevent vision problems. She is proud to be a titleholder and to serve with purpose, gratitude, and an open heart.”

Miss Connecticut: Eliza Kanner

Eliza is from Hamden. Her platform is “For The Kids” and she’ll be singing as her talent. “Eliza is most inspired by the kids she met at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center – they are her ‘why.’ As a patient at Connecticut Children’s when she was 12 months old, she dedicates her time as a titleholder making sure patients feel like the princesses and superheroes they are.”..
Miss Delaware: Chelsea Bruce
Chelsea is actually from Manasquan, New Jersey. Her platform is “De-stigmatizing Mental Illness” and she’ll be dancing as her talent. Chelsea Bruce is a senior at the University of Delaware where she double majors in Political Science and Economics with a double minor in Legal Studies and Political Communication…She has also worked with organizations that work toward mental health advocacy — Active Minds and Mental Health America. She works with both of these organizations to promote awareness and understanding of the issues surrounding mental illness.”
Miss District of Columbia: Briana Kinsey
Briana is from Birmingham, Alabama. Her platform is “Daring to Defeat Diabetes” and her talent is pop vocal. “Briana Kinsey founded the non-profit Daring to Defeat Diabetes to advocate, educate, and fundraise for the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. A graduate of the University of Alabama with a degree in biology, she plans to attend medical school in Washington, D.C., and become a Pediatric Endocrinologist. Her work with the Girl Scouts of America focuses on girls’ health from inside out…Briana regularly sings the national anthem and is a spokeswoman for the American Diabetes Association and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.”
Sara is from Palm Coast. Her platform is “Music Matters!” and her talent is classical piano. ” Sara began playing the piano at the age of 5 and music has since been a driving force in her life, inspiring her to spread the gift of music through her platform, Music Matters! Sara hopes to show others that music opens the mind of a child in extraordinary ways and that all students deserve the opportunity to experience the joy of music as a fundamental part of their education.”.
Alyssa, 19, is from Brunswick. Her platform is “#RiseUp: Impact Through the Arts” and her talent is lyrical dance. “Alyssa has a passion for dance, which began at the age of two and has shaped her life ever since. After a serious hamstring injury, Alyssa realized her dreams of becoming a collegiate dancer were over. Now, she believes her injury was all in God’s plan to further her passion for the arts through teaching and choreographing.”
Kathryn is from Honolulu. Her platform is “BFF: Brush, Floss, Fluoride” and her talent is jazz dance. “Kathryn was born and raised an island girl. Home will always be Hawai’i. Her father is a dentist, and she plans to follow in his footsteps. Volunteering together on a global scale, her father taught her that our planet is an island, and we must all do our part. Her platform, “BFF: Brush, Floss, Fluoride,” was created with the worldwide awareness that many lifelong health issues start with tooth decay”
Taylor is from Boise. Her platform is “Becoming the Solution: Your Role in Childhood Obesity Prevention” and her talent is singing. “Taylor has never been one to stand still. Her work ethic and passion to explore have brought her many adventures from leadership to singing. As a Certified Health Education Specialist, she hopes to use her platform, “Becoming the Solution,” to make a difference in the health of families nationwide by informing adults about childhood obesity and its causes.”
Miss Illinois: Abby Foster
Abby is from Danville. Her platform is “Youth Mentoring – The Building Blocks for Success” and her talent is jazz dance. “Abby’s life was forever changed when she joined College Mentors for Kids; a program that connects college students with children who need a positive role model. By joining the program, she learned first-hand the impact we can make on children’s lives through mentoring. In addition to serving as an ambassador for CMN Hospitals, she would like to continue advocating for mentoring and the positive effects it has on future generations.”

Miss Indiana: Haley Begay

Haley is from Pittsboro. Her platform is Don’t Silence the Violence: A Voice for Children of Domestic Violence and her talent is singing. “After time spent volunteering with abused children, it is difficult to imagine how someone could hurt them, not only physically but verbally. It is Haley’s goal to spread awareness about domestic violence and educate children on how to settle disagreements without physical violence.”



Miss Iowa: Chelsea Dubczak

Chelsea is from Holmen, Wisconsin. Her platform is “Ladies Who Lift: Strengthening Mind and Body” and her talent is operatic singing. “Chelsea is fortunate and blessed to do what she loves for a living – she helps clients work to achieve their best personal fitness and to begin admiring their own strengths. Chelsea also trains young voices as a private vocal instructor. Her mission is to help people who feel they are simply surviving, to start thriving. This goal is the impetus behind “Ladies Who Lift” and continues to be her personal mantra.”



Miss Kansas: Krystian Fish

Krystian is from Wichita. Her platform is “Remove the Labels: Be Unstoppable” and her talent is singing. “Krystian began her work with those with disabilities through The Arc of Sedgwick County in Wichita, Kansas, and quickly became a passionate disability advocate in her community. Her work has been highlighted in The Mighty, Apostrophe Magazine, Parents Magazine, and numerous other media outlets.”



Miss Kentucky: Molly Matney

Molly is from Center. Her platform is “Farm Fit” and she’ll be singing “He Taught Me To Yodel”. “Growing up on a beef cattle farm in rural Kentucky, Molly was given a passion for agriculture at an early age. As Miss Kentucky, she is employed by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to promote the importance of buying healthy, fresh foods from farmer’s markets across her state. Speaking to children about where their food comes from is her passion!”



Miss Louisiana: Laryssa Bonacquisti
Laryssa is from Monroe. Her platform is “Team Charlotte: Fighting Pancreatic Cancer” and her talent is ventriloquism. “The day Laryssa’s mom informed her about her grandmother’s diagnosis, her world shook. However, her grandmother’s determination to fight lit a fire in her heart. Today, only 8 percent of pancreatic cancer patients live more than 5 years after diagnosis. Laryssa’s determination to become Miss America is driven by the knowledge that the title provides a greater voice, and with it, Laryssa plans to raise awareness, funds, and more importantly, advocate for research to create a diagnostic technique for this silent killer.”
Katie is from Scarborough. Her platform is “F.L.A.G. (Female Leadership in American Government)” and her talent is singing. “As she’s matured, Katie noticed the gender disparity within our state and federal governments and how important it is to have equal representation, as policy affects everyone…Katie feels there is no better time in history than now to discuss what is happening in our governments and work to decrease the gender gap so everyone’s voice is heard.”
Kathleen is from Westminster. Her platform is “Supporting Military Families” and her talent is dance. “As a military child, it has always been vitally important for Kathleen to provide moral and emotional support to military families while also raising awareness for their needs… Kathleen has organized drives to collect and distribute new school supplies for military children as well as developed Operation Integrate, a peer facilitation program for educators and students to help them adjust to their new environments.”

Maddie is from Corvallis. Her platform is “Give Your Gift of Service” and her talent is singing. “Traveling as the co-chapter leader of a medical mission organization in Nicaragua, Maddie learned that gifting her gifts not only impacted the recipient’s life, but also hers. She has reached out to local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals to compile a national database of approved patient’s stories that will be brought into schools nationwide.”



Miss Nebraska: Allison Tietjen 
Allison, 21, is from Chester. Her platform is “United We Stand: Honoring Our Military” and she’ll be playing “Phantom of the Opera” on the piano. “Allison’s platform was inspired by her desire to honor her late grandfather who proudly served as a Marine during the Korean War era. In addition to promoting the importance of recognizing the service of our military, Allison has helped raise over $20,000 for Veteran and Gold Star Family Honor Flights. She has also served as a guardian on four of these flights.”
Miss Nevada: Andrea Martinez
Andrea is from Las Vegas. Her platform is “P.A.C.T. (Police and Communities Together)” and she’ll be singing “His Eye in on the Sparrow”. “Andrea aspires to be a Criminal Profiler with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Before winning the title of Miss Nevada she was in the top 15% of her Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department recruitment class, and is now partnering with them to promote her platform, P.A.C.T. (Police and Communities Together).”
Miss New Hampshire: Lauren Percy
Lauren is from Bow. Her platform is “Reach Higher: Making Higher Education Possible” and her talent is Broadway jazz dance. “Lauren’s mission in life is aligned with the mission of Miss America. She plans to empower lifelong learners to fulfill their God-given potential through personal and community development opportunities as well as educational attainment.”
Miss New Jersey: Kaitlyn Schoeffel
Kaitlyn is from Egg Harbor Township. Her platform is “Operation Empowerment” and her talent is dance. “Kaitlyn is a passionate advocate for the arts. Through her platform, “Operation Empowerment,” she provides children an equal opportunity to be exposed to the arts. Kaitlyn has developed relationships with community theaters across the state of New Jersey to sponsor tickets for children to see live theater productions.” .
Miss New Mexico: Taylor Rey
Taylor is from La Cruces. Her platform is “P.L.A.Y: Promoting a Love of Art in Youth” and she’ll be singing “Art is Calling for Me”. “Taylor was fortunate enough to grow up onstage studying music, theater, and dance. Performing has taught her innumerable life lessons, including practice makes perfect, self-discipline, and empathizing with people and cultures entirely different from her own.”
Miss New York: Gabrielle Walker
Gabrielle is from Clarence. Her platform is “DreamUp America” and her talent is Broadway dance. “As creator and founder of DreamUp America, Gabrielle promotes her innovative platform in schools and community organization across New York State. DreamUp America is an education-based initiative that helps children determine and plot their future, starting now.”
Miss North Carolina: Victoria Huggins
Victoria is from St. Pauls. Her platform is “The ALZ Project: Alzheimer’s Awareness” and she’ll be singing “I Will Always Love You”. “Victoria has enjoyed traveling as a motivational speaker and vocalist nationwide since the age of seven. She was honored to represent her community on a variety of television shows, including It’s Showtime at the Apollo, Star Search, American Idol (Top 100), and the American Bible Challenge.”
Miss North Dakota: Cara Mund
Cara is from Bismarck. Her platform is “A Make-A-Wish Passion with Fashion” and she’ll be performing a self-choreographed dance to “The Way You Make Me Feel”. “At age 14, Cara founded North Dakota’s Annual Make-A-Wish Fashion Show. For 10 years, Cara has brightened 23 Wish Kids’ lives, became a ‘Certified Wish Granter,’ and raised over $78,500 for Make-A-Wish. In 2011, President Barack Obama recognized Cara’s charitable efforts. Cara is a national dance champion and trained four summers with the Radio City Rockettes.”
Miss Ohio: Sarah Clapper
Sarah is from Louisville. Her platform is “Athletics Today, a Lifetime of Tomorrows!” and her talent is piano. “Sarah has partnered with Growing Leaders, a global non-profit organization and the developer of Habitudes, an image-based curriculum to form leadership habits and attitudes. The goal is to develop a foundation of personal identity and value through leadership skills and service. Through this partnership, she has become a Certified Habitudes Facilitator, preparing the next generation of students and athletes to be leaders in their communities.”
Miss Oklahoma: Triana Browne
Triana is from Tulsa. Her platform is “Bridging the Great Cultural Divide” and her talent is singing. “Through her partnership with The Boys and Girls Club, she has been able to reach hundreds of children across her state to promote culturosity – cultural compassion within ourselves and towards others. It is her hope to grow her audience and position as Miss Oklahoma/Miss America and be a key contributor to forums on the subject of race, culture, and diversity.”
Miss Oregon: Harley Emery
Harley is from Springfield. Her platform is “Intercultural Community-Building” and her talent is classical piano. “Harley enjoys traveling, exploring outdoors, and partner dancing. Her platform promotes constructive dialogue on immigration, refugees, and cultural competency, with the aim of de-politicizing groups of people and building relationships between individuals of different backgrounds. Having spent time in Africa and the Middle East, and working with refugees and immigrants in Oregon, Harley is very passionate about this issue.”
Miss Pennsylvania: Katie Schreckengast
Katie is from Palmyra. Her platform is “Building Families Through Adoption” and her talent is alto saxophone. “Katie…plays her dad’s alto saxophone and attributes her love of music to him. Katie chose her platform because she was adopted from South Korea when she was six months old. She hopes to share her adoption story while also highlighting the stories of adoptive families nationwide.” .
Miss Rhode Island: Nicolette Peloquin
Nicolette is from Newport. Her platform is “Be the Match: The National Bone Marrow Registry” and her talent is acrobatics. “Nicolette…lost both her Nana and Papa to cancer and had a scare with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma herself. She joined the registry and within a few months was called as a match. The day after her 21st birthday, she donated over 360 million cells to save a stranger in another country. She finally received an update and her match is healthy!”
Miss South Carolina: Suzi Roberts
Suzi is from Pawleys Island. Her platform is “Children’s Advocacy: Ensuring the Rights of Every Child” and her talent is dance. “After moving away from home at 12 years old to train with prestigious ballet companies, Suzi was the American representative at several international ballet competitions. In college she traded in pointed shoes for poms, dancing on her college dance team and then as an NFL cheerleader.”
Miss South Dakota: Miranda Mack
Miranda is from Redfield. Her platform is “Music for Life” and her talent is operatic singing. “Miranda…loves to speak and perform; her years of involvement in the arts prepared her well for her first local pageant and for any other dream she may choose to pursue. Miranda believes music brings people together, heals, and brings about immense personal growth that lasts a lifetime. It is her role as a future music educator, and her deepest desire as a titleholder, to improve the quality of life for people of all ages through music.”
Miss Tennessee: Caty Davis
Caty is from Knoxville. Her platform is “Attacking Addiction: Prevention, Recovery, and Restoring Families” and she’ll be singing “I Have Nothing”. “Growing up a child of divorce, the daughter of an addict, and surrounded by many other family members struggling with addiction, Caty knows first-hand how substance abuse can destroy a family. Since the suicides of her half-brother, and then her father three years ago, her resolve to spotlight the addiction epidemic has become her life’s focus.”
Miss Texas: Margana Wood
Margana is from Houston. Her platform is “You Belong” and her talent is contemporary dance. “Sharing her personal story of overcoming consistent bullying in middle and high school, Margana has shared with thousands of students her personal platform.  She uses her SMART students program to help share the importance of respect and inclusion and has also partnered with The Little Words Project, a national organization whose mission is to spread kindness.”
Miss Utah: JessiKate Riley
JessiKate is from Beaver. Her platform is “Find ValYOU Within” and her talent is classical violin. “At 13 years old, JessiKate developed an anxiety disorder called Trichotillomania, which caused her to lose sight of who she was. With the help of family and friends, she learned that in order to overcome challenges, she needed to change her focus and realize the value she had within. JessiKate found this through music.”
Miss Vermont: Erin Connor
 Erin is from Bridport. Her platform is “Tailwinds: Training a New Generation of Women Scientists” and her talent is American Sign Language. “At 16, Erin became the youngest woman enrolled in her aviation school. Her apprehension to fly as the youngest student, and only woman, almost cost her dream of flying. Erin’s goal as Miss America is to ensure that no girl stalls her own dreams from perceived fears of gender limitations. That is why she created Tailwinds, a program that targets adolescents with flight camp and interactive aviation career lessons.”
Miss Virginia: Cecili Weber
Cecili is from Roanoke. Her platform is “Born Leaders” and her talent is contemporary jazz dance. “…Cecili attributes her success and discovery of her passion for leadership to her rigorous academic and student government commitments during her collegiate years. As Miss Virginia, Cecili is looking forward to continuing her commitment to promoting her platform across the Commonwealth to instill confidence and civic interest in young people.”
Miss Washington: Nicole Renard
Nicole is from Kennewick. Her platform is “You are Enough! Developing a Positive Body Image” and her talent is jazz dance. “After living in three different countries, traveling extensively, and working with national companies, Nicole understands the job of Miss America and is ready to further enhance the brand. As a future broadcast journalist who overcame negative body image, her ability to speak on air and to audiences has prepared her to encourage the next generation of leaders.”
Miss West Virginia: Tamia Hardy
Tamia is from Martinsburg. Her platform is “Stand Up, Don’t Stand By!” and her talent is hip hop dance. “…As a member of the Multicultural Leadership Team and the A-Team, [Tamia] was able to learn more about bystander intervention for sexual assault and it became an intricate piece of her experience on campus. As the first black Miss West Virginia, Tamia wants to be an example for others and inspire them to follow their dreams.”
Miss Wisconsin: McKenna Collins
McKenna is from Waunakee. Her platform is “Table Talk: Promoting Civil Discourse” and her talent is Ballet en pointe. “At age 16, McKenna founded a small business and signed a contract as a professional ballet dancer. During her college years, McKenna founded a dance outreach program and received a scholarship and grant from her university to work across the state. McKenna served a congressional internship for U.S. House Speaker, Paul Ryan, which sparked her passion for her platform – celebrating diversity of opinion and civility in discourse.”
Miss Wyoming: Cheyenne Buyert
Cheyenne is from Sheridan. Her platform is “Winning with One: Conquering Type One Diabetes” and her talent is singing. “With a passion for educating others about her autoimmune disorder, Type 1 Diabetes, [Cheyenne] has become a motivated young entrepreneur, diligent student, and positive role model in her state.”
Miss America airs at 9:00pm on September 10 on ABC.
Meet The 51 Contestants For Miss America 2018
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