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20 January 2011

New Miss America says God gives her a purpose

Associated Press - 1/18/2011 10:25:00 AMBookmark and Share

Associated Press logo small 2Teresa Scanlan (Miss America 2011)LAS VEGAS - The newly-crowned Miss America, 17-year-old Teresa Scanlan, is a mostly home-schooled Christian who pointed heavenward when she was announced as the winner Saturday night.

According to the new Miss America, she wasn't the only Christian contestant in this year's pageant. "We know why we're here and what we're doing," said Scanlan, "and we have a passion for it because we know it's what God wants us to do. And so every person that I meet I know God has a reason why I'm meeting them. I just want to embrace that as much as I can this year."

Scanlan told reporters that she and other Christian contestants had been at peace waiting for the judges' decision, confident that it was ultimately in God's hands. "We knew that whatever happened is His plan," she shared. "And so whether I won or not, I just knew that the right person would be in the right place. So I guess I'm in the right place -- and now I'm just so excited to see what He has in store."

She says she and many of her fellow contestants are purpose-driven Christians. "Many of the girls who made it very high [in the competition] had a strong faith because that shows...the substance and purpose behind what we're doing -- and that's why we're driven."

The former Miss Nebraska said she believes her faith was an advantage in the competition, since she didn't have to think through and sort out her convictions beforehand. Scanlan said, "That's the whole purpose behind who I am. I'm defined by what God has created me to be."

After her year as Miss America, Scanlan plans to attend Patrick Henry College -- a Christian school in Virginia -- where she'll study government and work toward a career in law or politics.

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