Singing opera is her talent and advocating for responsible energy use is her platform
By Kate Menzies, University & Public Affairs student writer
University of North Dakota student and Grand Forks native Laura Harmon is loving her new role as a “pageant queen.”
A senior majoring in environmental geography, she juggles classes and Kappa Alpha Theta sorority events all while competing for the title of Miss America. This is the fourth year Harmon has competed in pageantry.
As Miss Grand Forks, Harmon was up against 21 other hopefuls looking to represent the state as Miss North Dakota. After winning the preliminary swimsuit and preliminary talent portions of the competition, Harmon was crowned Miss North Dakota last June.
Harmon first became interested in the Miss America Pageant after one of her sorority sisters had competed. She encouraged Harmon, saying she would be perfect for the pageant after hearing her singing skills at Kappa Alpha Theta sorority events.
Competing has been nothing but a positive experience for Harmon.
“I’ve learned a lot about perseverance and personal growth,” said Harmon. “I’ve discovered who I want to be.”
During the Miss America competition, Harmon will be singing opera for her talent and her platform will be “Energy Kids: Raising Responsible Energy Users.” As an environmental geography major, Laura takes great pride in the environment and is passionate about the outdoors.
Her goal is to visit schools throughout the state and teach kids the importance of sustainable living patterns. She will also use her platform to discuss some important environmental changes taking place in our state, such as those associated with natural resources exploration in western North Dakota.
Being part of this competition, Harmon realized there are many people out there that want to serve their communities.
“People are willing to give themselves to other people,” she said.
The Miss America Pageant will take place on Sept. 15 in Atlantic City, N.J. Since 1921, this pageant has served as a scholarship program for young, ambitious college women who are looking to make a difference at local, state and national levels.
The Miss America Organization has partnered with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to raise funds and awareness for children’s hospitals throughout the United States. Contestants competing in Miss America-sponsored pageants are now expected to raise a minimum of $850 in donations as part of the local, state and national contests for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the Miss America Scholarship Fund.
David L. Dodds
Media Relations/Writer & Editor
Office of University Relations
264 Centennial Drive Stop 7144
Grand Forks, ND 58202-7144
701.777.5529 | 701.777.4616 fax