Miss New York Nia Franklin Is Crowned Miss America 2019

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CNN) — The new Miss America is Nia Franklin.

Franklin was crowned Sunday (Sept. 9)  night during the 92nd Miss America pageant held in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Last year’s Miss America, Cara Mund of North Dakota, took the stage to pass the crown to Franklin, who hails from New York.

Miss Connecticut, Bridget Oei, was named first runner-up.

“It took a lot of perseverance to get here,” Franklin said after her win. “I want to thank my beautiful family. My mom and my dad, who is a survivor of cancer.”

Franklin is originally a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina and she earned her master’s degree in music composition from UNC School of the Arts. She moved to New York after being accepted at the Kenan Fellow program at Lincoln Center Education in Manhattan.

She said she plans to advocate for the arts during her tenure.

“Dancing with the Stars” judge Carrie Ann Inaba hosted the pageant. Judges included Laila Ali, Bobby Bones, Randy Jackson, Jessie James Decker, Soledad O’Brien, Alli Webb and Carnie Wilson.