Miss America Launches Education Scholarship for Former Winners

Miss America Launches Education Scholarship for Former Winners
In this Sept. 13, 2015, file photo, Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev crowns Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell as Miss America 2016 in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray, File)

Miss America continues to advocate for women's education.

The non-profit organization announced on July 19 the launch of a new scholarship that will offers financial assistance to former winners.

Current winners receive a $50,000 scholarship to assist in education over the decade ahead, said Sam Haskell, executive chairman of the Miss America Organization and Trustee of The Miss America Foundation in a press release.

"However, many of our Miss Americas wish to further their educational goals after their 10-year scholarship window has expired," Haskell said.

The new scholarship was set up for past winners to apply for up to $10,000 towards education after the 10-year window expired.

Haskell and his wife, Mary will fund the first scholarship.

"The challenges of paying for a higher education are becoming increasingly difficult, and we are taking our program one step further to enable Former Miss Americas to continue their educational endeavors long after they pass the torch," said Josh Randle, COO of the Miss America Organization and Secretary of The Miss America Foundation.

The announcement comes on the heels of a visit to the White House and Capitol Hill by current Miss America Betty Cantrell and the 2017 contestants. The group spoke with politicians about the importance of women's education.

First Lady Michelle Obama has been a strong advocate for girls and women's education through her initiative Let Girls Learn. Let Girls Learn is a collaborative effort with the U.S. Department of State, U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Peace Corps, Millennium Challenge Corporation, and other agencies.

Obama took her mission to Morocco, Spain, and Liberia in June, where she met with world leaders and students.