ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Miss Oklahoma's Outstanding Teen Nicole Jia was crowned Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2017 on Saturday, August 6th in Orlando. Jia's triumphant walk across the stage at the Orange County Convention Center was just the beginning of a journey that will take her all over the country during her year of service as Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2017.
"We are proud of Nicole and the thousands of teens who compete nationwide to serve as positive role models for our nation's youth," said Miss America's Outstanding Teen President Kim Parrish. "Orlando has been the home of our competition for more than a decade, and in the wake of this summer's tragedies, our focus on nurturing success was especially meaningful."
In the past decade, Miss America's Outstanding Teen (MAOTeen) has grown to become one of the world's leading achievement programs for hundreds of young women, paying out nearly $1 million in cash scholarships to more than 199 colleges and universities. Providing girls ages 13 to 17 a platform to share and express their viewpoints, demonstrate their commitment to community service, and pursue their educational dreams, the Florida-based nonprofit has developed mentoring programs and community-based initiatives that result in more than 70,000 volunteer hours annually.
Speaking to audiences about her platform, "This Little Light of Mine," Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2017 Nicole Jia will also act as the official National Teen Goodwill Ambassador for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children's hospitals. CMNH is the national platform partner of the Miss America's Outstanding Teen Organization.
Jia is a 17-year-old student at Casady School. She is the daughter of Gregory and Mary Jia and resides in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Along with the title of Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2017, Jia won a $30,000 scholarship provided by The Harris Rosen Foundation and the Orlando Scholarship Foundation, Inc. toward her college education. Jia was also named the recipient of the Outstanding Instrumentalist Award. She earned an additional $500 scholarship for this award.
The first runner-up was Miss North Carolina's Outstanding Teen Catherine White, who earned a $10,000 scholarship with her personal platform "Power of S.H.E. - Selflessness, Humility, Esteem."
Second runner-up honors and a $7,500 scholarship were awarded to Miss Georgia's Outstanding Teen Kelsey Hollis, with her personal platform "TAABS: Teaching Autism Awareness by Siblings - A Platform for Change."
Third runner-up and the winner of a $5,000 scholarship was Miss Florida's Outstanding Teen Anjelica Jones. Her personal platform is "Grand Jete' Everyday."
The winner of a $2,000 scholarship and fourth runner-up was Miss Louisiana's Outstanding Teen Sarah Katherine McCallum. Her platform is "Get to Know H2O - Water Conservation."
Miss Pennsylvania's Outstanding Teen, Alysa Bainbridge, was the winner of America's Choice, an online competition where viewers were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite Miss America's Outstanding Teen contestant. She became the 11th Semi-Finalist to compete in the finale.
About Miss America's Outstanding Teen
One of the nation's leading achievement programs, the Miss America's Outstanding Teen organization encourages positive achievement by helping to nurture and build the scholastic achievement, creative accomplishment, healthy living and community involvement of our nation's youth. MAOTeen provides educational scholarships for deserving young people and has developed mentoring programs and community-based initiatives. The Miss America's Outstanding Teen organization has a long-standing relationship with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Through this partnership, MAOTeen has raised more than $100,000 this year to help improve the lives of children across the country. Additional information about the Miss America's Outstanding Teen organization can be found at www.maoteen.org.
SOURCE Miss America's Outstanding Teen