Just over a week ago, Emma Broyles made history x2 as the first Korean-American and the first Miss Alaska to ever win Miss America.
As the 2022 champion, she will receive $100,000 USD in scholarship and a six-figure salary to aid her duties as Miss America.
A misconception often held about the pageant is that it emphasizes looks and unrealistic beauty standards. And though that has been true in some cases, Miss America has made big changes to reimage and encourage young women who posses leadership, communication skills and talent.
Every year, the winner chooses a social impact initiative for the year, and her appearances and duties will revolve around the said initiative. Broyles has chosen the Special Olympics in honor of her brother, Brendan, who has Down syndrome and competes in athletic events. Her mother is also a special needs teacher at her alma mater Service High School.
The Miss America winner hopes to promote inclusion within a tumultuous political climate where opinions are divided. “Getting to have this platform to speak about why inclusion is important during a time like this when our country is so divided,” she said. “And to speak about why it’s important to be compassionate, why it’s important to be empathetic, why it’s important to keep an open mind and to be willing to listen to those who aren’t like you or maybe have different opinions than you, I think that this is a time where we need that more than ever.”
Broyles added that she has witnessed the impact the Special Olympics can have on families of people with intellectual disabilities and hopes to bring it forward by serving as a role model for young women. The Alaskan native is currently a junior studying biomedical sciences and voice performance at Arizona State University, with hopes to work as a dermatologist shortly after enrolling in medical school.