Miss Iowa 2012 Mariah Cary is a step closer to earning her degrees in public relations.
On Saturday, she was named fourth runner-up at the Miss America Pageant, adding to scholarship money already earned at state and local pageant levels.
Cary, 20, lives in Burlington. She is a graduate of Burlington High School who attends Mount Mercy University.
Her academic honors include the African American Academic Scholarship, the NJCAA Full Volleyball Scholarship and the Occupational Movement Scholarship.
Prior to her crowning as Miss Iowa, she was the reigning Miss Muscatine.
Her pageant platform is “Tourette Syndrome: The Involuntary Companion Syndrome."
“At the age of eight, I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome (TS),” she wrote. “Growing up with TS was very difficult. My peers did not comprehend my illness and I was overwhelmed with constant questions and even teasing. Having supportive friends and family helped me learn to embrace this part of me. Although TS is not something anyone would choose to endure, I made the personal choice to turn my weakness into a strength by sharing my story and bringing confidence to those afflicted with TS and other potentially debilitating challenges. As the spokesperson for the Tourette Syndrome Association, I am able to empower people of all ages by sharing my personal journey with TS and showing them that no matter what obstacle you face, it is all right to be different and nothing should stop you from pursuing your dreams.
During the pageant, her talent was tap-dancing to “Scatman.”