Apr 20, 2015 10:31 AM
CONCORD - Megan Cooley, who has served as Miss New Hampshire for the past year, reflected on Monday about her experiences, saying she has learned to put service above herself.
Cooley, a University of New Hampshire junior who is studying neuroscience and psychology, took the year off from school in order to fulfill her obligations. She looks forward to getting back to UNH this fall.
Cooley said the best part of this year was visiting sick children in hospitals, offering them hope. Cooley visited Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Boston Children's Hospital and the Children's Hospital of Philidelphia, she said.
"My work with children has shown me how much children have the will to live," Cooley said.
Cooley, who has won $34,000 in scholarship money this year through the Miss America organization, also talked about how important higher education is for young women, and how the pageant system helps to raise money for winning contestants.
Miss America wins a $50,000 scholarship. Cooley won $14,000 on the night she took home the crown in New Hampshire, she said.
When asked what it was like to compete at Miss America in Atlantic City, NJ, Cooley said, "You just feel so lucky to be there and to be amongst these women, who are so poised, so talented... Really the best in the country, and I just felt like I grew so much from being at Miss America."
Miss New Hampshire will be held at the Stockbridge Theatre in Derry April 30 to May 2. Visit their website for more information.
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