Say what you will about beauty pageants, but this one is a winner in the eyes of classical music fans. On Sunday night in Atlantic City, opera singer and composer Nia Franklin was crowned Miss America.
Franklin is a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina who earned her master's degree in music composition from UNC School of the Arts. She moved to New York after being accepted at the Kenan Fellow program at Lincoln Center Education in Manhattan.
"I grew up at a predominately Caucasian school and there was only 5 percent minority, and I felt out of place so much because of the color of my skin," she said. "But growing up, I found my love of arts and music helped me to feel positive about myself and about who I was," she continued, "and that's what I would encourage women to do – young girls to do -- to find who they are."
Frankin says she'll advocate for the arts during her tenure as Miss America.