For the first time in 34 years, Miss Arkansas is Miss America.
Fayetteville native and University of Arkansas student Savvy Shields, 21, was crowned during the pageant finals held Sunday night in Atlantic City.
Shields beat out 51 other contestants, including women from all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to become only the third Miss Arkansas to ever win the pageant. Actress Grace Elizabeth Ward (who later changed her name to Elizabeth Gracen) of Russellville was crowned as Miss America in 1982, and Donna Axum of El Dorado won the pageant in 1964.
Shields won the talent competition of the pageant this year with a jazz routine to the song “They Just Keep Moving the Line” from the NBC musical series “Smash.”
Her personal platform was “Eat Better, Live Better,” with hopes to educate people on how nutrition can impact their lives.
She answered a question about democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton during the Q&A portion of the event.
Shields is a senior at the University of Arkansas where she studies art in the Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences, and she hopes to work at a museum or teach at a university when she finishes college.