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Meet the 20-year-old nuclear engineering student from Wisconsin who was crowned Miss America 2023

A nuclear engineering student from Wisconsin with a knack for sharing her opinion on ‘hot political topics’ has been crowned as Miss America 2023.

Grace Stanke, 20, earned the highly coveted title at the beauty pageant on Thursday at the Mohegan Sun arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. 

Hailing from Wausau, Wisconsin, she wowed the judges with her beauty and her brains – making clear that while she loves to compete in pageants, her number one passion is science.

The beauty queen is currently studying nuclear engineering at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and often voices her love for the topic on her social media accounts. 

A nuclear engineering student from Wisconsin with a knack for sharing her opinion on ‘hot political topics’ has been crowned as Miss America 2023

Grace Stanke, 20, earned the highly coveted title at the beauty pageant on Thursday at the Mohegan Sun arena in Uncasville, Connecticut

Grace Stanke, 20, earned the highly coveted title at the beauty pageant on Thursday at the Mohegan Sun arena in Uncasville, Connecticut

Grace Stanke, 20, earned the highly coveted title at the beauty pageant on Thursday at the Mohegan Sun arena in Uncasville, Connecticut

Hailing from Wausau, Wisconsin, she wowed the judges with her beauty and her brains - making clear that while she loves to compete in pageants, her number one passion is science

Hailing from Wausau, Wisconsin, she wowed the judges with her beauty and her brains – making clear that while she loves to compete in pageants, her number one passion is science

‘I am so proud to be a woman in nuclear engineering. It’s not easy, nor is it a simple path to follow, but it is so very worth it,’ she wrote on Instagram back in June. 

The beauty queen is currently studying nuclear engineering at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and often voices her love for the topic on her social media accounts

The beauty queen is currently studying nuclear engineering at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and often voices her love for the topic on her social media accounts

‘I find joy in the little things, and when I understand something so small that makes something as big as a nuclear power plant function, it just makes me thrilled to be alive!

‘To the young woman, the little girl, the middle schooler who wants to be an engineer but is struggling for whatever reason: remember YOU are a trailblazer in this field. 

‘Every woman smooths out the path just a little bit more for the next one. I am so excited to work alongside each and every one of you.’

When asked by a follower what she wants her ‘legacy’ to be in July, the self-described ‘nuclear nerd’ said, ‘The best answer I have is a nuclear analogy. I want to be the neutron that’s fired at uranium to start the decay process in a power plant. 

‘I want to be the person that inspires the next three people to go on and make powerful decisions. I want to be the person that’s causing that change in people, and affect generations to come.’

'I am so proud to be a woman in nuclear engineering. It¿s not easy, nor is it a simple path to follow, but it is so very worth it,' she wrote on Instagram back in June

‘I am so proud to be a woman in nuclear engineering. It’s not easy, nor is it a simple path to follow, but it is so very worth it,’ she wrote on Instagram back in June

She added: 'To the young woman, the little girl, the middle schooler who wants to be an engineer but is struggling for whatever reason: remember YOU are a trailblazer in this field'

'I want to be the person that inspires the next three people to go on and make powerful decisions,' Grace said. 'I want to be the person that's causing that change in people, and affect generations to come'

 She added: ‘To the young woman, the little girl, the middle schooler who wants to be an engineer but is struggling for whatever reason: remember YOU are a trailblazer in this field’

When asked by judges what she would use the platform of Miss America for, she said she was 'excited' to have the opportunity to use her voice to an even bigger audience

When asked by judges what she would use the platform of Miss America for, she said she was ‘excited’ to have the opportunity to use her voice to an even bigger audience

In addition, the activist often speaks out about climate change and how it affects the environment.

'I am able to [answer questions] and say, "This isn't the organization's point of view, this is my personal point of view," especially when it comes to hot political topics,' she said

‘I am able to [answer questions] and say, “This isn’t the organization’s point of view, this is my personal point of view,” especially when it comes to hot political topics,’ she said

When asked by judges what she would use the platform of Miss America for, she said she was ‘excited’ to have the opportunity to use her voice to an even bigger audience.

‘As Miss America, I know I am representing this organization, but I am able to [answer questions] and say, “This isn’t the organization’s point of view, this is my personal point of view as Grace Stanke,” especially when it comes to things like nuclear energy and so many other hot political topics,’ she said.

Grace, who is also an avid violinist, impressed audiences even further with a stunning performance of the Aaron Sinclair and Antonio Vivaldi track Storm during the competition.

Hollywood Life reported that she started playing the instrument at age eight, and that it helped her find her love for pageants.

She previously admitted that she would get so anxious while performing that she would begin to shake, and she realized that to overcome her fears she would have to do more things onstage – leading to her entering the Miss Wisconsin Outstanding Teen competition. 

Grace, who is also an avid violinist, impressed audiences even further with a stunning performance of the Aaron Sinclair and Antonio Vivaldi track Storm during the competition

Grace, who is also an avid violinist, impressed audiences even further with a stunning performance of the Aaron Sinclair and Antonio Vivaldi track Storm during the competition

In addition, based off her Instagram account, Grace loves water skiing, hiking, and traveling

In addition, based off her Instagram account, Grace loves water skiing, hiking, and traveling

She previously served as Miss Madison for two years before earning the title of Miss Wisconsin earlier this year

She previously served as Miss Madison for two years before earning the title of Miss Wisconsin earlier this year

She previously served as Miss Madison for two years before earning the title of Miss Wisconsin earlier this year

Winning Miss America made her the third woman from the state to take the crown

Winning Miss America made her the third woman from the state to take the crown

‘[Competing] helped me be comfortable in my own skin,’ she told The Northwestern, while reflecting on her journey.

In addition, based off her Instagram account, Grace loves water skiing, hiking, and traveling.

She previously served as Miss Madison for two years before earning the title of Miss Wisconsin earlier this year – and winning Miss America made her the third woman from the state to take the crown.

The beauty pageant – which was started in the 1920s and has gone on for 95 years – saw 51 different women face off to see who would be crowned as the winner. 

Miss New York Taryn Delanie Smith was chosen as the runner-up, while Miss Texas Averie Bishop came in third place. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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