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An Air Force pilot has been crowned Miss America 2024

An Air Force pilot has been crowned Miss America 2024
Miss Colorado Madison Marsh has been crowned Miss America 2024.
Miss Colorado Madison Marsh has been crowned Miss America 2024.Houston M Photography
  • Miss Colorado Madison Marsh was crowned Miss America 2024 on Sunday night.

  • Marsh, 22, is the first active-duty Air Force officer to compete in the Miss America pageant.

  • The Harvard student cofounded the Whitney Marsh Foundation to fund pancreatic cancer research.

Miss Colorado Madison Marsh was crowned Miss America 2024 on Sunday night.

The 22-year-old is a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force and the first active-duty Air Force officer to be a Miss America state titleholder, per the Miss Colorado website. Marsh was crowned Miss Colorado in May 2023.

Marsh is also the first active-duty officer to compete for the Miss America crown, an Air Force Academy spokesman told Stars and Stripes, a daily American military newspaper, earlier this month.

Marsh, who hails from Fort Smith, Arkansas, graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado, with a degree in physics focusing on astronomy, per The Harvard Crimson. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

It was during her time at the United States Air Force Academy that Marsh decided she wanted to compete in pageants, per a profile published in November by the Air Education and Training Command.

She told The Harvard Crimson earlier this month that there are similarities between being in the military and participating in a pageant.

"When I put on my uniform, I serve, and I represent our country," she said. "When I put on the crown and sash, I'm serving, representing my community."

She also credited her time at the Air Force Academy for developing the leadership skills that won her the Miss Colorado title, per The Harvard Crimson.

Marsh is also the cofounder of the Whitney Marsh Foundation, which she started with her family in honor of her mother, who died from pancreatic cancer in 2018, per the Miss Colorado website.

"My mom was a huge runner, even when she was going through chemotherapy treatments," Marsh said in her profile published by the Air Education and Training Command. "When we talked about ways to raise money, we wanted it to remember who my mom was and not what cancer had made her. So we started the Whitney Marsh Foundation and specifically hosted a 5K and 10K run every year based out of our hometown in Fort Smith, Arkansas."

The foundation has raised over a quarter of a million dollars to date, per the Miss Colorado website.

According to the Miss America website, the 2024 winner of the pageant will be awarded $60,000 in tuition scholarships and have the opportunity to travel the country as the Miss America brand ambassador.

Marsh did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent outside regular business hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider