Allie Swanson was named Miss Nebraska 2019 and will represent our state at the 2020 Miss America, with Gering’s Allison Baird named first runner up .
Swanson, 24, is a native of Omaha, graduate of Evangel University, and Master’s Program student at Bellevue University. She is awarded nearly $12,000 in cash scholarships, use of a car during her year of service, a prize package valued at more than $25,000, and MBA program packages at both Midland and Bellevue Universities. Swanson, a two time All-American athlete and Scholar All-American, was selected to sing the national anthem at the 2018 College World Series. She performs across the midwest through My City Church; she is an Assistant Girls Varsity Basketball Coach at her alma mater, Millard North High School; she is a certified barre-code instructor at The Barre Code-West Omaha; and she is the Society Engagement Coordinator at Smart Gen Society (formerly Smart Girl Society), a non-profit teaching students, parents, and educators how to safely use digital media. Swanson was also the Miss Nebraska Community Service Award winner, she won the Overall Interview Award (tie), and a preliminary On Stage Interview Award, all recognizing her social impact initiative dubbed ‘CyberSmartz: Protecting Yourself in a Digital World’. Swanson also won a preliminary Evening Wear Award.
Allison Baird, a 22-year old Gering native and Doane University student, was named 1st Runner Up and will be crowned Miss Nebraska if Swanson is crowned Miss America or cannot otherwise fulfill her commitment. Baird, a Vocal Performance and Theater Major at Doane University, has been a featured vocalist at productions and events across the state. She created her own organization, ‘Little But Fierce’ to advocate for fine arts education, and was awarded the Overall Interview Award (tie), a preliminary On Stage Interview Award and a preliminary Evening Wear Award. With the $4500 earned at this year’s competition, she has now been awarded nearly $15,000 in cash scholarships competing for Miss Nebraska and Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen, as well as graduate program scholarship offers at Midland and Bellevue Universities.
Hayden Richardson, a 20-year old Bennington native attending Northwestern University, was named 2nd Runner Up. She has shared her message about ending modern slavery for the last two years with schools and organizations across Nebraska and Illinois, leading to her recognition with the 2019 Miss America Community Service Award, the 2nd place Miss Nebraska Community Service Award, and the Overall Interview Award (tie). Richardson earned more than $4000 in cash scholarships this week, as well as graduate program scholarship offers at Midland and Bellevue Universities. In total, she has earned more than $6250 competing within the Miss Nebraska Organization.
Carsyn Long, a 19-year old Gering native attending the University of Alabama, was named 3rd Runner Up. Long earned a full-ride scholarship by winning the title of Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen 2017. She added an additional $2,000 in cash scholarships this week, as well as graduate program scholarship offers at Midland and Bellevue Universities.
Makinzie Gregory, a 19-year old from Gering attending Western Nebraska Community College, was named 4th Runner Up and wins $1,500 in cash scholarships. Gregory is an active social media advocate for individuals with special needs, and plans to attend Laramie County Community College in the fall to study Physical Therapy. She won the Miss America Scholar Award, and 2nd Place Miracle Maker Award for her fundraising efforts for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Gregory has now earned more than $8,500 competing in the MIss Nebraska Organization, as well as scholarship offers at Western Nebraska Community College, Mid-Plains Community College, Midland University and Bellevue University.
Courtney Pelland, Nikki-Catrina Anderson and Kiera Rhodes were named semi-finalists. Pelland, 20, is a North Platte native and student at Midland University, where she has now earned an estimated $80,000 in scholarships thanks to a partnership between Midland and the Miss Nebraska Organization. Pelland was also recognized with the 2019 Miracle Maker Award, raising more than $500 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and she was a finalist for the Miss Nebraska Community Service Award for her work advocating for blood donation.
Nikki-Catrina Anderson, 23, is a Scottsbluff native and graduate of Brigham Young University. The future elementary school teacher has accumulated more than 3,700 hours of community service inspired by her social impact initiative ‘Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader’. She is awarded $1250 in cash scholarships and a graduate program package at Midland University.
Kiera Rhodes, 18, is a 2019 graduate of North Platte High School. She earns $1250 in cash scholarships and scholarship package offers at North Platte Community College, McCook Community College and Midland University.
Alexandria Roth, Cherokee Purviance, Emma Groninger, Sheridan Blanco and Whitney Miller were all awarded $1,000 in cash scholarships for competing in the 2019 Miss Nebraska competition. Groninger was also named Miss Congeniality, and honored with the Spirit Award and the Non-Finalist Interview Award, earning a total of $1650 in cash scholarships. Miller was also awarded the Non-Finalist Talent Award, earning a total of $1250 in cash scholarships. All five non-finalists are offered scholarships at North Platte Community College, McCook Community College and Midland University.