Stepping into the contest as Miss New York, Franklin has been crowned the 92nd Miss America at Sunday’s leaving behind Miss Connecticut, Bridget Oei, as the first runner-up.
“It took a lot of perseverance to get here,” Franklin said after her win. “I want to thank my beautiful family, my mom and my dad, who is a survivor of cancer.”
Nia Franklin is an opera singer, a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina who has a master’s degree in music composition from UNC School of the Arts. She moved to New York after being accepted at the Kenan Fellow program at Lincoln Center Education in Manhattan.
According to Nia Franklin, who is black, her music talent had helped her discover her identity.
“I grew up at a predominately Caucasian school and there was only five percent minority, and I felt out of place so much because of the color of my skin,” Franklin said.
“But growing up, I found my love of arts, and through music that helped me to feel positive about myself and about who I was.”