Miss New York Kira Kazantsev Crowned Miss America Winner: Pictures, Age, Swimsuit Photos, and Facts

September 14, 2014 Updated: September 15, 2014

Miss New York Kira Kazantsev became Miss America 2015 on Sunday night.

The 22-year-old hails from Manhattan and graduated from Las Lomas High School before attending Hofstra University, where she majored in political science, global studies and geography.

Kazantsev hopes to obtain a Juris Doctorate and a Master’s degree in Business Administration and pursue pursue a career in International Diplomacy.

Her talent is vocal and her platform is Love Shouldn’t Hurt: Protecting Women Against Domestic Violence.

 The daughter of Russian immigrants told the Press of Atlantic City that she was a victim of domestic violence while in college.

“It was something that definitely changed me,” she said. “I’m better now and I’m stronger now. I want to show others they can handle it too.”

“We need to talk about the issue,” she added to the New York Post. “We need to make it something people aren’t scared of. We need to stop asking, ‘Why doesn’t she just leave?’ but instead have the courage and empathy to help women on their way.”

Kazantsev said that she plans to sing Pharrell William’s “Happy” while tapping a red plastic cup like Anna Kendrick’s character did in “Pitch Perfect.”

“I keep time with the cup,” she said. “It’s not your average Miss America talent in terms of singing Broadway tunes or opera. I’m sticking to what I can do.”

Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, top right, crowns Miss New York Kira Kazantsev as Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, top right, crowns Miss New York Kira Kazantsev as Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

 

Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn, from left, Miss New York Kira Kazantsev, and Miss Virginia Courtney Paige Garrett wait to find out who is the second runner up during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. Kazantsev won the crown while Garrett took first runner up and Kuhn took second runner up honors. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn, from left, Miss New York Kira Kazantsev, and Miss Virginia Courtney Paige Garrett wait to find out who is the second runner up during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. Kazantsev won the crown while Garrett took first runner up and Kuhn took second runner up honors. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

 

Miss New York Kira Kazantsev displays her swimsuit during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev displays her swimsuit during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

(Facebook)

(Facebook)

Miss New York Kira Kazantsev, left, poses with Kelly Davis, of New York, on the Longines blue carpet after Davis won the Longines Most Elegant Woman at Belmont fashion contest, Saturday, June 7, 2014, at Belmont Park in New York.  Longines, the Swiss watchmaker known for its elegant timepieces, is the Official Watch and Timekeeper of the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Longines/AP Images)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev, left, poses with Kelly Davis, of New York, on the Longines blue carpet after Davis won the Longines Most Elegant Woman at Belmont fashion contest, Saturday, June 7, 2014, at Belmont Park in New York. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Longines/AP Images)
 

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