Miss Alaska 2023, Hannah Utic, visited Nome to engage with the community and share her journey of becoming Miss Alaska. Miss Alaska is the state preliminary to the Miss America competition; the Miss America Organization is the world’s largest scholarship program for women.
Utic hails from the Anchorage suburb of Girdwood, where she won Miss Girdwood 2022 and then competed for Miss Alaska 2022. Even though she did not win that year, she received “quite a bit” of scholarship money. She returned this year and claimed the Miss Alaska title.
Utic said each competitor is required to undergo an interview, perform a talent, and have a “platform,” or a community service initiative. Her focus was on civic involvement with an emphasis on informed voting. She said she was inspired after seeing that only 30% of registered voters in Anchorage participated in the last local election. She hopes to educate youth on the importance of voting and getting involved in local government issues.
“Because we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, we’ve been given so much. Therefore, I believe it’s our responsibility that we give much in return,” Utic said.
86 percent of Alaska’s communities are inaccessible by road and can only be reached by sea or by air. This was Utic’s first visit to a community off the road system.
In an Instagram post after her visit to Nome, Utic wrote, “The welcome I received was so incredibly warm by everyone, especially the kiddos.”