• Miss America 2019: Who is Miss New York Nia Franklin, this year's winner?

    By: Michelle Ewing, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -

    Miss New York Nia Imani Franklin was crowned the winner of this year's Miss America competition Sunday night in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

    Here's what we know about the 25-year-old, who claimed a $50,000 scholarship with her win:

    1. The classically trained singer, songwriter and composer wrote her first song at age 6. According to the Miss America website, the lyrics were, "Love, love, love, love, love, is the only thing that matters to me, hey, hey, hey, hey."

    Her passion for music continued to flourish through the years.

    "I grew up in a school with only 5 percent minority, but growing up, I found my love of arts, and through music, I felt positive about myself and who I was," Franklin said during the competition, according to E! News. "That's what I would encourage young girls to do: Find who you are."

    For the talent portion of the pageant, Franklin performed the aria "Quand m'en vo'" from "La Boheme."

    2. She earned a master's degree in composition from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts last year, according to college's website. The Winston-Salem native, who also was awarded a Kenan Fellowship at Lincoln Center Education in New York, previously earned a bachelor's degree in music composition from East Carolina University.

    3. Her social impact initiative is "advocating for the arts." "For the Miss America Organization, I will bring my zeal for music and performance, and be a strong support for arts in education," she said in her bio on the Miss America website.

     

    4. She also plans to raise awareness for cancer research. Franklin even donated her stem cells to her father, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and "essentially saved his life," the University of North Carolina School of the Arts reported.

    5. She's the first winner of what organizers have dubbed "Miss America 2.0," which replaced the swimsuit competition with onstage interviews. Franklin praised the move while speaking with reporters Sunday night.

    “These changes, I think, will be great for our organization," she said, according to the AP. "I’ve already seen so many young women reaching out to me personally as Miss New York asking how they can get involved because I think they feel more empowered that they don’t have to do things such as walk in a swimsuit for a scholarship." 

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    She added: “And I’m happy that I didn’t have to do so to win this title tonight because I’m more than just that, and all these women onstage are more than just that.”

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin . . Roses by @passionroses

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