Princeton Native, Brianna Legner, will participate in the 2023 Miss Illinois Competition under the Miss America Organization, which will be held from June 7-10 at the Marion Civic Center.
Participants must win a local title before advancing to compete in the state-wide competition. Legner currently holds to the local title of Miss Blackhawk Valley, based out of the Quad Cities.
Legner will be competing against 26 other local title holders from around the state for the chance to advance and compete for Miss America.
“The people who know that I compete in these events are extremely supportive. Friends, family and a lot of the community members are in support of helping me further my community service initiatives.”— Brianna Legner
All participants will compete in a series of events including interview, talent, health and fitness and evening gown before the top 10 advances to a final event to decide the overall winner.
Each participant also selects a community service initiative to pitch to support in their time of service. Legner, a Speech Language Pathologist for the Putnam County School District, has created More than a Smile; which embraces the uniqueness and creates a culture of kindness for children and adults with facial differences.
“I created this because I am a speech pathologist and through my studies I learned how to provide therapy services and I wanted to think of other ways that I could further help this community,” Legner said.
This will be Legner’s third time participating in the Miss Illinois Competition after previously making the trip in 2019 and 2021.
Legner said that the support she has received from her family and friends during this process has been amazing as many of her family members will make the four-hour trip to view the event in person and others have helped her with mock interviews and other training in preparation of the event.
“The people who know that I compete in these events are extremely supportive,” Legner said. “Friends, family and a lot of the community members are in support of helping me further my community service initiatives.”
Legner first got into the Miss America Organization after her mom was involved when she was Legner’s age. While she enjoys the preparation that goes into the competitions, for her it’s the opportunities that they can provide that keep her involved.
“Miss America is the number one provider of scholarships to women in the country,” Legner said. “The Miss America before this year earned $100,000 in scholarships and the current Miss Illinois earned I think $13,000. What keeps me coming back, other than wanting to further my community service initiative, is the scholarship dollars that the organization provides.”
Legner will be competing throughout the week for her chance to advance to the Miss America Competition.