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Miss Georgia heads to 100th Miss America Competition

Karson Pennington on her way to Connecticut to represent the Peach State.

ATLANTA — Miss Georgia is on her way to Connecticut for the 100th annual Miss America Scholarship Competition.

Karson Pennington boarded a plane at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport in Atlanta on Wednesday night, ready to represent the Peach State.

Pennington will join 50 other candidates to compete for the Miss America 2022 title. This year, the scholarship competition will award the winner a $100,000 scholarship to honor the event's centennial anniversary. Traditionally, $50,000 is offered as a competition prize.

Pennington was crowned Miss Georgia 2021 in Columbus, Georgia in June.

She earned the title on her platform of children's literacy with her social impact initiative ROAR: Reach Out And Read. The program focuses on family outreach at medical or pediatric offices to teach parents to read aloud to their children to help improve literacy throughout Georgia.

Miss Georgia 2021 is a second-year doctoral student in political science and international affairs at the University of Georgia. In May of 2020, Pennington graduated Magna Cum Laude from UGA in four years, with three degrees receiving a bachelor's and master's in political science and another bachelor's degree in art history, according to her biography.

When she's not preparing to compete for the Miss America title, she completes independent and departmental research focused on judicial politics at the federal level. She plans on becoming a collegiate professor in the future. 

While at UGA for her undergraduate studies, Karson was a four-year member of the Georgettes dance team, a member of the Honors Program and the Dean William Tate Honor Society, and a staff writer with the Georgia Political Review. 

She has been dancing and singing since she was three years old and said she loves to perform on the stage, a news release reads.

Pennington will conduct her personal interview for Miss America on Friday. She will speak on stage about her social impact project and do the competition's question and answer portion on Dec. 12. She'll show off her tap dancing skills during the talent portion of the competition on Dec. 13.

NBC, who typically broadcasts the event, will stream the competition exclusively on its platform Peacock Dec. 16 at 8 p.m.