Miss Illinois to compete in Miss America

January 2, 2012 6:15:16 AM PST
Hannah Smith, 19, of Huntley was crowned Miss Illinois 2011 on July 2, 2011 at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center in Marion, Illinois.

She will now spend the next year touring the state of Illinois speaking at schools about CHARACTER COUNTS!, appearing at a variety of community and charitable events, serving as Illinois' goodwill ambassador for Children's Miracle Network, the official platform of the Miss America Organization, and spokesperson for East Aurora-based Triple Threat Mentoring. Hannah will also promote her personal service platform "Distracted Driving... FOCUS" as she emphasizes the importance of distracted driving awareness for all ages, from elementary school to adults. Through a grant from State Farm, Hannah will reach thousands of teens with her distracted driving presentation. She will also compete with 52 other titleholders from across the country for the title of Miss America at the 2012 Miss America Pageant next January at Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the 2011 Miss Illinois Pageant, Hannah earned the preliminary awards for Lifestyle & Fitness in Swimsuit, Talent, and Evening Gown. She also received the Caroline Paulus Award for best overall talent for her ballet en pointe performance to "The Sugar Plum Variation" from the Nutcracker Ballet. A graduate of McHenry County College and entering junior at Northern Illinois University, Hannah was awarded the Rene LeBeau Dance Scholarship and will pursue Bachelor's degrees in both Dance Performance and Business. After her year of service as Miss Illinois 2011 is complete, Hannah will return to Northern Illinois to complete her education, and she aspires to own a dance studio and utilize her studio as a platform through which she can encourage young women to live healthy and active lifestyles.