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 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 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.”
Miss Florida: Sara Zeng
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.”
Miss Georgia: Alyssa Beasley
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.”
Miss Hawaii: Kathryn Teruya
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”
Miss Idaho: Taylor Lance
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.”