On Sept. 11, 2016, Savvy Shields, the 2016 Miss Arkansas, was crowned with the title of Miss America. As a winner of the national pageant, Shields took home $50,000 worth of college scholarship money and will earn a six-figure salary. Prior to the passing of crowns from last year’s Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell, the first through fourth place runner-ups were announced. Miss Mississippi was fourth, Miss Washington was third, Miss New York was second, and Miss South Carolina was the first runner-up. The finalists took home $10,000, $15,000, $20,000, and $25,000 in college scholarship money, respectively. The Miss America pageant has become so renowned not only for the poise of its contestants but also for being one of the first pageants to encourage further education through monetary prizes. Miss America Savvy Shields now looks to continue pursuing her art major at the University of Arkansas and is excited to graduate college debt-free. She also revealed in an interview with the KTLA 5 Morning News that she hopes to one day teach at the collegiate level.
As a traditional part of the national competition, Shield’s platform is the “Eat Better, Live Better Platform”. Shields describes her platform as a public encouragement for living healthier, eating better, and adopting an improved quality of life. Like all prior Miss America winners and contestants, Miss America 2017 Savvy Shields hopes to use her public spotlight to encourage positive change throughout America.