The #Miss America 2018 pageant just recently concluded the first night of the preliminary competition this past Wednesday, September 6. There are 51 women, from all across the #United States competing for the coveted title, E! Online reported.

Each of the girls competing in the pageant takes pride in their advocacies for various causes. Some of the women chose platforms that are dedicated to the members of the military, while others chose health-related ones.

Miss Arizona, Maddie Rose Holler, is the daughter of a 20-year U.S. Navy corpsman and an immigrant mother from the Philippines. According to her profile in the official pageant website, she is the president of the Arizona Military Family Support Group, which provides care for the families of army members.

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Miss Maryland, Kathleen Masek, also chose a platform geared toward supporting military families. She is, also, the daughter of a member of the US Army, and deems it necessary to provide moral and emotional support to these families while raising awareness for their everyday needs.

Hailing from Nebraska, 21-year-old Allison Tietjen’s platform is called “United We Stand: Honoring Our Military.” This campaign is inspired by her late grandfather who once served as a Marine in the Korean War, her profile revealed. She has raised over $20,000 for military veterans and their families.

Health advocates

There were also women who chose to raise awareness on mental health, a relevant issue in the United States today. Miss Delaware, Chelsea Bruce, chose a platform that is aimed at reducing the stigma surrounding mental illnesses. According to the Miss America website, she has worked with various groups such as Active Minds and Mental Health America to push forward her goals.

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On the other hand, Miss Hawaii, Kathryn Teruya, also decided to pursue a platform related to health. She created her cause “BFF: Brush, Floss, Fluoride,” a campaign that seeks to raise global awareness on issues related to tooth decay.

Miss Texas wins preliminaries

The preliminary competition of the Miss America 2018 pageant was held on September 6 and will continue until September 8. During the first night of the preliminaries, Miss Texas, Margana Wood, won with the sharing of her experiences with Hurricane Harvey, #Fox News reported.

The hurricane hit certain parts of Texas, particularly the area of Houston. She told Fox News that though her family was spared from the massive flooding, they made it a point to extend their help to the victims of the calamity. They did this with the simplest contribution such as helping household owners in moving furniture or buying backpacks for the children.

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The 2018 Miss America pageant will be aired live on ABC from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Sunday, September 11 at 9 p.m. ET. It will be hosted by “The Bachelor” star Chris Harrison and ESPN’s Sage Steele.