Grace Stanke, Miss Wisconsin, won the Miss America 2023 title on December 15, 2022, and became the first nuclear engineer to compete and win the prestigious beauty pageant.

The beauty pageant took place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn, and included 51 participants from the American states and the District of Columbia. The pageant now offers scholarships to the winning contestant who then contributes 500,000 hours working for a social cause.

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“What was most important to me in choosing Miss America 2023 was her intelligence and drive,” said Aparna Shevakramani, one of the judges.

“I’m ready for the job and I’m ready to advocate for women who don’t think they can do whatever it may be,” Stanke, who won the title against Miss New York said. “Lot of the time I get put into this box when people hear I’m a nuclear engineer, but I can do so much more. I’m a classical musician. I’m a competitive water skier,” she further added.

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Who is Grace Stanke?

Grace Stanke was born on April 30, 2002, in Wausau, Wisconsin, USA. She is currently studying nuclear engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is also an accomplished violin player.

This 20-year-old Miss America won Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen title in 2017. She also became Miss Wisconsin in June 2022.

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She then won Miss America 2023 on December 15, 2022. She won the title along with a scholarship of $100,000 with a national tour of one year to raise awareness and alertness about nuclear energy and other sources of zero-carbon energy.

She started her journey to Miss America when she was 13 years old. According to the Miss Wisconsin scholarship organization, Grace did so to improve her skills to perform violin. With the campaign ‘Clean Energy, Clean Future, she has promoted zero-carbon energy sources.