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A 22-year-old second lieutenant in the United States Air Force has been crowned as the new Miss America.

Madison Marsh is not only a pilot but also a master’s student at the Harvard Kennedy School. She’s the first active-duty Air Force officer to ever receive the national title.

Some of her other accomplishments include an internship at NASA, a two-time National Astronaut Scholar, and a black belt in Taekwondo.

Marsh, who was crowned at the Miss America pageant that took place at the Walt Disney Theater at Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts in Florida, represented the state of Colorado.

After losing her mother to pancreatic cancer in 2018, Marsh is an advocate for fighting the disease. During the pageant, she responded to the topic chosen “drugs in America” by sharing the story of her mother’s battle with cancer.

During an interview, Marsh encouraged others to follow their dreams.

“You can achieve anything. The sky is not the limit and the only person that’s stopping you is you.”

When asked how she juggles being in the military and being a beauty pageant winner, Marsh said it was a decision to make people feel more comfortable.

“In the military, it’s an open space to lead in the way that you want to lead – in and out of uniform. I felt like pageants, and specifically winning Miss Colorado, was a way to truly exemplify that and to set the tone to help make other people feel more comfortable finding what means most to them”.

Image credit: Sky News

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