(Left to right) Everise Grant, Seamen, Navy Ceremonial Guard, Nia Franklin and Daisy Briseno, Airman, Navy Ceremonial Guard pose for a photo.

 Miss America 2019 advocates for the arts, spends time with service members

Miss America 2019 advocates for the arts, spends time with service members

 

Nia Franklin, Miss America 2019 was at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall the weekend of Aug.16 to spend time with United Service Organizations and perform at the 1812 Overture concert.

Franklin earned an undergraduate degree in composition from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, and a master’s in fine arts from the University of North Carolina’s School of the Arts. Franklin has been a teacher, music mentor and has written more than 100 songs.

She won Miss Five Boroughs at the age of 24, became Miss New York in 2018 and is now crowned Miss America.

During an interview she did at the 1812 Overture, Franklin discussed her musical origins.

I grew up singing in church,” Franklin said. “My mom always jokes that I was singing ‘amen’ in the balcony at my church. It started in the church choir and being around so much in the community.”

While she was in college, her father was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and she volunteered to be his donor. Her father is now six years free from the disease after the stem cell transplant. 

Earlier this week, I was at Duke University Hospital and we donated a piano with the help of Sing for Hope,” Franklin said. “We donated a grand piano in the children's hospital lounge so that we can remember that experience and honor it.”

 Franklin said that was where the stem cell transplant occurred.

It was a full circle moment for me, very emotional and I was so happy to be able to give the gift of music for something that started out as a terrible situation and turned into something that I can give back and be meaningful,” Franklin said.

She said she originally entered Miss America for scholarship, but has gained so much more through mentorship, leadership and sisterhood.

Each title holder has to have a social impact initiative — Franklin’s is art advocacy.

This year I have been blessed to work with organizations like USO and sing … and also with other music institutions such as the New York Philharmonic, Dallas Opera, Dallas Symphony,” Franklin said. “Also in the community working with children. My hope as this year’s Miss America is to bring music

 to as many children as possible who are not receiving that at school.”

Franklin said with the title of Miss America she has been able to connect and network with people. She still plans to tour America, compose music, but work on her organization, Compose Her. 

The organization’s goal is to help women in music have a support system,” she explained. “My career as a female in this field, I didn’t always feel supported … especially in the college years. My goal is to help as many young women out there feel like they have a support system.”

While at USO Friday, Franklin said:

It feels great to be here and be surrounded by so many hard working people who love our country. Being Miss America, it’s important to me to give back. It’s a role of service where I show my appreciation for all that they do for our great country.”

Franklin will give the crown to her successor Dec. 19.