Jun 17, 2013 07:33 AM EDT
Cara McCollum - Princeton University Student Named Miss New Jersey 2013
Cara McCollum, a 20-year-old Princeton University student has been crowned Miss New Jersey 2013 on Saturday which marked the end of a three-day Pageant on the Ocean City Music Pier. McCollum beat 22 other contestants to win the coveted title at the 80th annual Miss New Jersey Pageant.
Miss New Jersey 2012 Lindsey Petrosh placed the crown on McCollum's head. Brenna Weick, of Mantua, Gloucester County, was named the first runner-up.
McCollum, a first-time Miss New Jersey contestant, has now eventually secured a place in the Miss America 2014 pageant to be held in Atlantic City later this year.
"I am so overwhelmed and feeling extraordinarily blessed," McCollum said.
McCollum, who competed in the state pageant as Miss Island Resort, will receive an $11,000 college scholarship from the Miss New Jersey Education Foundation as well as numerous other smaller awards from the competition's sponsors. Overall, the Pageant officials presented about $35,000 worth in scholarships.
She will represent New Jersey in the Miss America pageant at Boardwalk Hall on Sept. 15.
McCollum , a native of the Arkansas native wants to encourage literacy among the youth. She is an English major at Princeton with a concentration in journalism and is a member of the New Jersey Ghost Hunters Society.
Other finalists at the 80th annual Miss New Jersey Pageant were:
Second runner-up: Lindsey Giannini, 18, Hammonton, Rowan University
Third runner-up: Cierra Kaler-Jones, 19, Galloway Township, Rutgers University
Fourth runner-up: Kaitlyn Schoeffel, 19, Egg Harbor Township, Montclair State University
Each of the finalists performed a talent and displayed swimsuit and evening gown wear. McCollum played the piano during the talent round of the competition.
McCollum plans to discontinue her college education to participate in the Miss America 2014 pageant.
"I am so looking forward to the adventure ahead of me," McCollum said. "I plan on being an extraordinarily active Miss New Jersey."
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