Alayna Westcom crowned Miss Vermont 2015

The first contestant for the Miss America 2016 competition will be the newly-crowned Miss Vermont, Alanya Westcom.

Westcom, 23, was crowned at the Barre Opera House on April 25, beating an extremely well-rounded field of 9 women.

Westcom, who also won the People’s Choice Award and the CMNH Miracle Maker Award (for raising the most funds for CMNH) is an alum of Bay Path College and is studying at the University of Vermont. She has competed many times in the past, and said she is grateful to have finally captured the Miss Vermont crown.

“I’m a little shocked, a little overwhelmed,” she said, shortly after her crowning. “It’s been ten years in the making, so I’m so excited.”

She said that when her name was called as the winner, she was confused and then overjoyed.

Not only is Westcom’s platform “Success through S.T.E.M.: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math,” science was also her talent, performing a dazzling chemistry experiment that resulted in a plume of foam jetting up from a beaker, wowing the audience.

She said she’s excited to be able to promote STEM, which has also become a major emphasis of the Miss America Organization in recent years.

“I’m so excited for my year, and to go to schools and talk to them about science, and to show [students] that Miss Vermont is tangible and that we are here for them,” Westcom said, adding that science, math and technology isn’t just for Miss America contestants.

“STEM should be everybody’s thing,” she said, “so, I don’t think it matters if it’s mine, or Miss America’s. I hope to continue to push STEM to every young woman in America.”

Westcom, an autopsy technician, said pathology and anatomy are her specific science of choice. “I perform autopsies, but I also diagnose people, which is kind of exciting,” she said.

Being the first in her class to be heading to Atlantic City for the Miss America pageant is also exciting.

“I’ve never been to Atlantic City,” she said. “I’m super excited to represent Vermont for the entire year.”

Also crowned at the same pageant was Miss Vermont’s Outstanding Teen Sophia Parker. Parker is a 16-year-old student at Vergennes Union High School, and is a resident of Addison. She performed a vocal “Brave” by Sara Bareilles and her platform is Stewardship of the Land: Promoting Wildlife Rehabilitation.

 

 

 

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