Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska Courtney Schuman is your new Miss Alaska 2018. She was crowned Saturday in the statewide pageant that is the last to include two longstanding stages of competition: bathing suits and evening gowns.

"I think it's wonderful," Schuman said. "The Miss American Organization has always been reaching out to those bold, vivacious women that are boundary breakers."

Schuman said she thinks the pageants' changes will be more inclusive for women.

"We're not just looking at how pretty you are," Schuman added. "We really want to know that you're intelligent, that you're passionate about your community, that you're going to make a difference."

Schuman's platform is, "Empowering Youth for a Brighter Tomorrow". She's currently pursuing a degree in environment and society with a minor in outdoor leadership at the University of Alaska Anchorage. As Miss Alaska, Schuman hopes to encourage kids to pursue their interests.

"When I was growing up I didn't feel necessarily encourages to reach out to the sciences," she added. "I took me a long time to step into that, feel confident in that. So I want to encourage our youth and show them they can be whatever they want to be."

Schuman enjoys rock and ice climbing and is taking a mountaineers class for beginners. Her last semester at UAA is this fall, and she plans to be in the backcountry as much as she can leading up to the national competition.

"I'm excited to reach out to the community, [and] volunteer a whole lot," Schuman said. 

The Miss America Pageant is in September in Atlantic City.

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