Atlantic City, NJ (September 11, 2016) – Boardwalk Hall was filled with enthusiasm and excitement this week as The Miss America Organization and The Miss America Foundation proudly presented the Academy of Honor Award to Jane Alderson, State Executive Director of the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant. Jane has been a volunteer in the Miss America Organization for over 35 years and has served in varying roles throughout her time. Under Jane’s visionary leadership, her state organization has flourished and the contestants who compete in her state continue to benefit significantly. The Academy of Honor Award is the most prestigious honor bestowed to national and state volunteers.

The special announcement of the 2017 Quality of Life scholarship winners provided more wonderful reasons to celebrate. Among the 52 contestants, three were chosen as recipients of this year’s Quality of Life Awards. This year’s winner of the $6,000 Quality of Life Award is Miss Alabama Hayley Barber whose platform, Sight for Small Eyes, advocates for comprehensive eye care for all children.
The first runner-up for the Quality of Life Award and winner of a $4,000 scholarship was
Miss Kansas Kendall Schoenekase. Kendall’s personal platform, Stay Alive Don’t Text and Drive, is devoted to preventing accidents due to texting and driving.

The second runner-up and winner of a $2,000 scholarship was Miss Maryland Hannah Brewer. Hannah’s personal platform, Hannah’s Heroes, is devoted to providing emotional support and planned giving to active military members, their families, and our veterans.

The 2017 STEM scholarship winners were also announced on stage. The STEM scholarship initiative was established to encourage more young women to pursue numerous careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Three (3) $5,000 STEM scholarships were awarded to empower more women to pursue careers in STEM-related fields and to lead successful lives. The winners of the 2017 STEM scholarships are:
Miss Alabama Hayley Barber
Miss Kansas Kendall Schoenekase
Miss Illinois Jaryn Franklin

The 2017 Women in Business scholarship is new this year, and the WIB winners were also announced on stage. Two (2) $5,000 scholarships are awarded to those with a declared field of study in business or to those who are interested in pursuing an MBA. The winners of the new 2017 Women in Business scholarships are:
Miss Rhode Island Shruti Nagarajan
Miss Georgia Patricia Ford

The Academy of Honor, Quality of Life, STEM, and Women in Business scholarships are awarded and funded by The Miss America Foundation, Inc.

Tune in tonight for the LIVE telecast of the “2017 Miss America Competition” at 9 pm ET/8 pm CT on the ABC Television Network!

About The Miss America Organization
The Miss America Organization, a 501(c)4 non-profit corporation, awards millions of dollars in annual college scholarship assistance making it the largest scholarship program for women in the United States. MAO is comprised of 52 licensed organizations which includes all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. MAO contestants contribute over 500,000 hours of community service annually and have raised over $14 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Miss America scholarships since 2007.

About The Miss America Foundation
The Miss America Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, proudly offers academic and community-based scholarships for undergraduate and graduate studies, as well as endowed scholarships for those young women attending medical school, working in special areas for military service awareness, and in the performing arts.

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