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Taking 97 years - Miss America is N.D.'s Cara Mund!

Miss America Cara Mund, North Dakota native
Cara Mund’s ascension to Miss America is a fabulous first for a North Dakotan.

After a century of young women from other states attaining the honor, the coveted Miss America crown has been placed on a North Dakotan – Cara Mund, from Bismarck.

Mund, 23, took part in the 2018 Miss America competition, held in and televised nationwide from Atlantic City, N.J., last month. The first Miss America competition was held in 1921.

Mund competed as Miss North Dakota – the honor attained last June in the state competition in Williston. The Miss North Dakota Scholarship Organization conducts the Miss North Dakota competition. 

The long history of little recognition of North Dakota women in the Miss America competition became a key moment in Mund’s final step toward the national crown. During the last stage of the competition, when asked to describe one of her “bucket list” items, Mund said breaking through to Miss America finalist status was one of them. 

Pointing out that only three North Dakota women had ever made it into the competition’s top 10 finalists, Mund said: “It just proves that it doesn't matter where you come from geographically, if you have the ability to do it and you dream it, you can do it.”

Mund is a graduate of Century High School in Bismarck, and an Ivy League honors graduate from Brown University, with plans to attend law school. In 2016, Mund served as an intern for North Dakota’s U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, who provided her with words of congratulation in remarks from the senate floor.

At age 14, Mund founded North Dakota’s Annual Make-A-Wish Fashion Show. For 10 years, Mund has helped brighten Wish Kids’ lives, becoming a “Certified Wish Granter,” and raising more than $78,500 for Make-A-Wish. In 2011, President Barack Obama recognized her charitable efforts. 

Mund is a national dance champion and trained with the Radio City Rockettes, New York City. Dance was Mund’s talent element in the scholarship competitions. 

Mund will conduct a year of travel and work as Miss America; it is expected she will stop back in North Dakota in a few months, and participate in a state celebration of her achievement.