Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at kcapps@newsminer.com, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.

Miss Alaska USA

Jaydn Fraser is Miss Alaska Teen USA for 2020 and Hannah Carlile is the new Miss Alaska USA 2020. Both women are from Fairbanks. Photo courtesy Miss Alaska USA

The newly crowned Miss Alaska USA 2020 and Miss Alaska Teen USA 2020 are both from Fairbanks.

Hannah Carlile accepted the Miss Alaska USA crown and Jadyn Fraser was awarded the Miss Alaska Teen USA crown at the Nov. 2 pageant held in Anchorage. This is the official preliminary pageant to the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants.

 

Miss Alaska USA

Hannah Carlile is a graduate student from Vanderbilt University and is pursuing an M.Ed. in international education policy and management. She serves as an education research consultant in partnership with Columbia Law School’s Center for Public Research and Leadership.

She also performs research and evaluation for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s new education initiative that aids students of color in reaching their academic goals. This helps her achieve her purpose of creating an equitable educational experience for underserved communities and ethnic minorities, according to her official pageant biography.

Her goal as Miss Alaska 2020 is to promote international education and cultural awareness at a state and national level. Most recently, she has helped village schools in Belize, led international college groups in Alaska and participated in numerous homeless outreach events in Alaska, nationwide and in various countries. She is fluent in French and Haitian Creole and is studying Mandarin Chinese and Russian.

 

Miss Alaska Teen USA

Jaydn Fraser is the new Miss Alaska Teen USA 2020. She is a graduate of West Valley High School where she maintained a 3.8 GPA.

According to pageant organizers, people are often surprised to learn that, at 18, Fraser was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. This is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system, which normally protects its health by attacking foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses, mistakenly attacks the joints. In severe cases, it attacks internal organs. This leads to painful swelling of the joints. Life for this pageant winner can be challenging.

In her new role, Fraser hopes to advocate for people with invisible illness such as depression, anxiety and other diseases that impact her generation. She hopes to provide the voice of reason, to let others know, “It will be okay,” according to her official pageant biography.

“Despite the pictures my social media may portray, I question my abilities every single day,” she posted on her personal Facebook page a few days ago. “I live with the consequences of my body, and with that I’ve had to learn to be confidently beautiful even when I can’t be comfortably beautiful. I’ve learned to see the beauty in myself and those around me. I encourage everyone to remember that they are beautiful, and to always strike a pose.”

The accompanying photo is of her in a hospital gown, striking a pose.

Neither winner could be reached for comment.

Pageant organizers say this contest empowers women to realize their personal, professional and philanthropic goals through experiences that build self-confidence and act as catalysts for future success.

“We celebrate beauty, all forms of it, and provide the tools that help women to feel their most beautiful: confidently beautiful,” according to the website.

The Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants began in 1954 as concurrent events in Long Beach, California. From there, the competitions moved to Miami Beach, Florida, in 1960. In 1965, they became separate live television specials, and since 1972, the pageants have been televised from locations around the world.

Miss Teen USA debuted in 1983 in Lakeland, Florida.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at kcapps@newsminer.com. Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.