UNCASVILLE, CT >> Miss Virginia Camille Schrier was crowned Miss America 2020 on Dec. 19 live on NBC at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. And her hometown of Newtown is beaming with pride.
Dressed in a lab coat, Miss Virginia impressed the judges in the talent portion of the contest with a science experiment demonstrating the catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, complete with colorful foam and beakers.
Schrier is a graduate of the Hun School in Princeton and Virginia Tech where she majored in biochemistry and systems biology. She is currently studying to obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
Along with the coveted title of Miss America 2020, Camille won a $50,000 scholarship to continue her education.
As Miss America 2020, Schrier will earn a six-figure salary as she travels across the country for her year of service. She will use her national platform to advocate for drug safety as an opportunity to inspire others and impact lives through her social impact initiative, "Mind Your Meds: Drug Safety and Abuse Prevention from Pediatrics to Geriatrics."
“Every day more than 130 Americans die of an opioid overdose and every eight minutes a caregiver makes a medication error that impacts a child," she said. "It’s time to do more about drug safety and abuse prevention.”
According to a posting on the Hun School website, Schrier grew up competing, including while she was a student at The Hun School.
Following graduation, the Hun story said she assumed that part of her life was over, though she always harbored a dream to compete in Miss America. But two roadblocks held her back: “I didn’t like the idea of a swimsuit competition and I wasn’t a dancer,” she said referring to more traditional representations of talent.
When the Miss America competition revamped its program to eliminate swimsuit competitions, Schrier’s dream was reignited.
“The evolution of the Miss America competition, which reflects greater inclusiveness, and an opportunity to make a difference and win scholarships inspired me to step forward this year and compete,” said Camille.
“I am more than Miss Virginia. I am Miss Biochemist, Miss Systems Biologist, Miss Future PharmD looking toward a pharmaceutical industry career," she said. "Now was the time for me to create a mind shift about the concept of talent by bringing my passion for STEM to the stage. To me, talent is not a passion alone, but also a skill which is perfected over years of learning.”
In the Miss Virginia competition, Camille was selected from among 24 women by a panel of five judges who scored candidates in the areas of personal and onstage interviews, talent, evening gown and social impact initiative.
First runner up in the Miss America competition was Miss Georgia, Victoria Hill, who earned a $25,000 scholarship.
The nonprofit Miss America Organization is one of the most recognizable household names in America working to empower young women through education and service.
The Miss America Organization is comprised of 51 licensed state organizations, including all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Miss America candidates contribute tens of thousands of community service hours annually and have raised more than $19 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Miss America scholarships since 2007. The Miss America Foundation provides academic, community service, and other scholarships to young women.