It’s not hard to be unfamiliar with the Miss Minnesota Education Program, or even to be unfamiliar with the local beauty queens, (after all, if you’re not related to one, it is a bit difficult to relate) but did you know that there are 17 winners in Minnesota? Take a look and read about them here:

The Miss Minnesota Education Program is an interesting program in that it prepares Miss Minnesotan”s for the Miss USA contest, as well as providing scholarships and professional opportunities for young women. Here”s an excerpt from their website:

In the 1980″s, a significant stride towards community service was made by the Organization when it began requiring each contestant in the local, state and national competition to embrace a social platform of national significance. As a result, Miss Americas have since become powerful, visible and credible spokeswomen for issues ranging from AIDS awareness and prevention programs to programs in support of homeless veterans. Whereas the Miss Americas of the past may have spent their year of service signing autographs in local drug stores for one of the pageant”s sponsors, Miss America today is in great demand as a speaker before legislative bodies, civic and national service organizations and prestigious bodies of the nation”s news media such as the National Press Club. Today, on an annual basis, Miss America state and local titleholders, along with the Organization”s network of volunteers, participate in more than 12,000 community service projects, providing in excess of 500,000 service hours to worthy causes.

I’ve never met anyone who has said nice things about the Miss/Mrs USA and pageant contests, but I’ve always secretly admired the people who take part in them. Each of the candidates is someone who works in and for the community, believes strongly in education, and is someone we can take pride in as belonging to our state and community. These are people who try to be not just beautiful in feature and body, but beautiful in spirit as well. And, as most of the people in Minnesota (at least from this transplant’s perspective) are beautiful in spirit, these terrific young women appear to represent their communities well.