Emma Broyles made history Thursday night becoming the first Korean American and the first Miss Alaska to be crowned Miss America.
The Insider reports the milestones took place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut, in the 100th Miss America pageant.
“As a Korean American, I am so grateful for the opportunity to compete alongside so many brilliant, talented women,” she said, according to Alaska Public Media. “I hope to live up to the legacy, serve as a positive role model for women of all ages and make the Miss America Organization proud. It’s been an honor to represent the great state of Alaska and I look forward to making a significant impact through my social impact initiative on the national stage.”
Broyles lives with Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder as well as dermatillomania. The condition causes her to constantly pick at her skin.
“One thing that I’ve really tried to do, especially as Miss Alaska, is show people that I’m real. I have flaws. I have ADHD, I have dermatillomania, which is a form of OCD,” Broyles said. “I’ve struggled with all of those things, and because of that, I am a better person.”
According to the Insider, Broyles studies biomedical science and voice performance at Arizona State University.
She says her victory represents positive change in the Miss America pageant. She described the organization as progressive. She says what counts is “who you are as a person” and not what you look like.
“It doesn’t matter what your background is. It doesn’t matter who you love. None of that matters,” she said. “What matters is who you are as a person, who you want to be, and what change you want to make in the world.”
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