- Grace is a talented violinist.
- She is an environmental activist.
- The Miss Wisconsin winner has won multiple beauty pageants.
- She was crowned Miss America 2023 on December 15.
Grace Stanke is the new Miss America! After a high-profile career in beauty pageants, the beautiful classical Wisconsin violinist took home the crown at the annual beauty pageant on Thursday, December 15, 2022. She emerged victorious from the top five Miss Georgia finalists Kelsey Hollis, Miss West Virginia Elizabeth LynchMiss Texas averie bishop, and Miss New York Taryn Delanie Smith at the 95th edition of the pageant, held in Connecticut. Grace played a stunning violin solo and stunned during the red carpet segment. Ultimately, she took on the glittery crown and requisite red roses in a stunning white gown, smiling naturally through all the emotion.
Now that Grace faces the world as the latest winner of America’s most popular and well-known scholarship competition, many are curious as to who she is. Here’s what you should know about the newly crowned Miss America 2023.
She studies nuclear energy.
You read that right. A native of Wasau, Wisconsin, he is currently studying for a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. According to her biography on the official Miss Wisconsin page, the smart beauty has worked in some “world-class research labs” and as a nuclear fuel cooperative. “Her work and education helped her see the world energy crisis,” the bio reads. “Fossil fuels are becoming scarce, leading to rising prices.”
Grace then realized that renewable energy and zero-carbon sources were the future, and she launched her very own social impact initiative called Clean Energy, Cleaner Future. She hopes to be at the forefront of the country’s transition to zero-carbon energy — with a focus on nuclear, of course. The focus of her concern is to avert the climate crisis. With such a heavy agenda, how could the judges not just hand her the crown?!
Grace is a classical violinist.
Corresponding The Northwest, she “built confidence” by learning to play the violin. She started playing when she was eight and nurtured her love for music through private tutoring – although she has admitted to trembling from performing.
As she grew up, she knew the only way to conquer fear was to have more opportunities on stage — enter the Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen pageants. She won Miss Wausau’s Outstanding Teen 2016, Miss Harbor Cities’ Outstanding Teen 2017, and eventually became Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen 2017.
Next up was Miss Madison (2020/2021), Miss Badgerland (2022), and of course, Miss Wisconsin 2022. Before claiming the ultimate crown, she received the Miss America Talent Scholarship for her classical violin performance—a $2,500 stipend .
She is tall.
Even on a stage full of statuesque beauties, Grace stands out. Stunning blonde beauty stands at 5ft 11! Being that tall isn’t always easy – Grace said the competition helped her learn confidence and posture. “[Competition]has helped me feel comfortable in my own skin,” she said, per The Northwest.
Grace wants to be a champion for women in STEM.
Corresponding The Northwest, our new Miss America noticed a shortage of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers when she started working in nuclear engineering. “I hope to continue to pave the way for women in the future and help ensure there is an equal percentage of women and men in the field,” she said, according to the outlet.
She also feels that her involvement with the Miss America organization will help her be a “representative” for its causes. “If I hadn’t interfered [with Miss America], I probably would have been another engineer just talking to other engineers,” she told the outlet. “I’m so excited to spread the word and be a representative between the nuclear industry and the general public.”
She is opinionated.
In the final round of the competition, the finalists were asked about their concerns. Grace has carefully indicated that she has her own opinions, but she knows how to present them in the event of winning the crown. “As Miss America, I represent this organization,” she said shortly before her victory. “If they ask more questions, I can start by saying, ‘This isn’t the organization’s viewpoint, this is my personal viewpoint as Grace Stanke,’ and I can elaborate on that — especially when it comes to things like nuclear power and so many other hot political issues.”
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