On September 9th, Nia Franklin was officially crowned the winner of the first Miss America 2.0 competition.
Franklin competed to represent her home state of New York, and she impressed the judges with her thoughtful answers to every question and her incredible singing talent. Music is her true passion in life: she holds a Master’s degree in music composition from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. After graduation, she moved to New York City to participate in the prestigious Kenan Fellowship program for artists at the Lincoln Education Center. Franklin is a trained opera singer, and she stunned the audience and judging panel alike with her beautiful rendition of a segment from the famous opera La Boheme.
Franklin is intelligent, talented, and beautiful, and she hopes to use her large platform to advocate for arts education in schools across America. Franklin stated that growing up she was one of the few African-American students in her school, and she wasn’t sure where she fit in, but exploring her creative side through music helped her find her passion. She wants other students to have the same opportunities.
Now that Franklin has been crowned the winner, she will receive a $50,000 scholarship and a year-long job as the new face of the organization. She will travel around the country working with students and educators to promote arts programs in schools.
The Miss America competition has dramatically changed over the past few years. The competition used to include a swimsuit portion, but in recent years, fans of the pageant have spoken up and said it no longer seemed appropriate. The organization took those critiques seriously, and not only did they drop the swimsuit competition, they also pledged that contestants would no longer be judged on appearance. In its place, the contestants now participate in a live question and answer session with the judging panel. Because of this, they have rebranded from being a pageant to simply being a scholarship competition.
With Franklin as the new face of Miss America, the organization is ready to move into a new era.
What do you think of Franklin’s big win and the future of the Miss America 2.0 competition? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!