Madison Marsh, a United States Air Force officer and astrophysicist, is the 2024 Miss America.
Marsh, 22, is a master’s candidate in the Harvard Kennedy School’s public policy department. She was named 2024’s “Miss America” on Sunday in Orlando, Florida. However, other sources have claimed that she is 23-years-old.
“You can achieve anything. The sky is not the limit and the only person that’s stopping you is you,” Marsh said in an interview shared on Instagram.
She continued by saying that anyone could enter the pageant world if she, who was raised in “a small town, not being part of the pageant world” could.
Marsh, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, replaced last years winner Grace Stanke of Wisconsin. She is the first active-duty Air Force officer to hold this title. Stanke attended Marsh’s coronation on Sunday.
In a message on X (Twitter), the U.S. Air Force celebrated Marsh’s victory by referring to her as “our very own.”
There were 51 competitors in total, representing the District of Columbia and the United States. 10 of those candidates were selected by the preliminary judges to compete in the pageant, and one candidate was chosen by the public, resulting in 11 semi-finalists.
The semi-finalists competed in four rounds of events, which included an evening gown presentation, a talent show, a “hot topics” discussion, and a fitness runway walk, before eventually being reduced to five finalists.
Later in the competition, finalists had to give a speech regarding their aspirations to become Miss America.
When speaking on the topic of drugs in America, Marsh opened up about personal details regarding her mother’s experience with pancreatic cancer. For the talent show round, she chose to speak about getting her pilot’s license when she was 16-years-old.
Additionally, prior to the pageant, Marsh revealed what influenced her to participate.
“It’s an awesome experience to bring both sides of the favorite parts of my life together and hopefully make a difference for others to be able to realize that you don’t have to limit yourself,” Marsh expressed.
“In the military, it’s an open space to really lead in the way that you want to lead — in and out of uniform. I felt like pageants, and specifically winning Miss Colorado, was a way to truly exemplify that and to set the tone to help make other people feel more comfortable finding what means most to them,” she added.
Marsh also highlighted her mission of utilizing her platform as Miss America to speak with girls about serving in the military and to stand up for themselves regarding stereotypes made about women in the service.
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