According to a recent report published in Huffington Post, Laura Kaeppeler from Wisconsin was declared the winner of the Miss America Pageant. The 23-year-old brunette was crowned in Las Vegas on January 14 due to her physical assets and her well thought campaign. The second and the third positions were occupied by Miss Oklahoma Betty Thompson and Miss New York Kaitlyn Monte.
Laura Kaeppeler focused on her childhood experiences rather than the usual “peace-on-earth” and “promote-the environment” campaigns that most participants use at the pageant. This was one of the reasons that brought her success because the public perceived her as genuine and intelligent, not just beautiful.
The 23-year-old contestant often spoke about her father’s jail time for mail fraud during the Miss America Pageant. She told the jury that she wished to create a program that could help children of incarcerated adults feel less alone. In addition, she underlined the importance of going through as many mentoring sessions as possible and of keeping a close relationship with the parents.
Upon the receipt of the crown and the $50,000 scholarship, Kaeppeler stated that she knows many children suffer because of their parents’ incarceration, but she encouraged them not to feel defined by this condition. There have been other tests that Laura successfully surpassed; she sang an opera song and strutted in a white bikini and black evening gown. In the end, she won the public’s appreciation by saying that beauty queens and politicians should bear in mind that they represent all Americans.
Some of the judges were afraid that Laura might focus too much on her family experience, instead of working for the benefit of the nation, but she reassured everyone that she and her family have already moved on. Moreover, she believes her strength will encourage children in her situation to do the same.
Laura Kaeppeler’s father, Jeff, declared that he was detained in a federal prison for 18 months for mail fraud. He received the sentence while his daughter was graduating school and starting her freshman year in college. Although he knew he would be in the center of attention if Laura chose this topic for her platform, Jeff was confident that “God can turn anything into good if you let him”.