Wausau Pilot & Review

Grace Stanke, a nave of Wausau and graduate of Wausau West High School, won the talent scholarship Tuesday for her classical violin performance during the second night of the 2023 Miss America Competition.

Stanke made history by becoming the first woman from Wausau to be awarded the title of Miss Wisconsin. During Tuesday’s competition, Stanke earned a $2,500 scholarship for her performance.

A student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Stanke has dedicated her year as Miss Wisconsin to promoting clean energy for future generations through the advocacy of nuclear power. 

Ms. Stanke is also the first nuclear engineer to ever compete for the job of Miss America.

Established in 1936, the Miss Wisconsin Scholarship Organization is a non-profit state affiliate of the Miss America Organization. Miss Wisconsin and its local affiliates support continuing education through scholarships, facilitating community service and volunteerism, promoting personal growth and leadership skills, and instilling confidence among the young women who participate in the program. Nearly all candidates have either received, or are in the process of earning, college or postgraduate degrees and use their Miss America scholarships to further their education.

Each candidate dedicates her year of service to promomote a “social impact initiative,” a personal cause she champions to make a positive difference in her community.

The Miss America Organization is a leading distributor of scholarships to women in the United States, awarding more than $5 million dollars in cash scholarships each year and millions more in-kind per year through national, state, and local programs. This year’s competition is being held at Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Uncasville, Conn.