Bountiful native Kara Arnold, who was crowned Miss Davis County in 2011, was recently crowned Miss Utah 2012. Arnold, a biochemistry major who was recently accepted to medical school at the University of Utah, is focused on a platform of science and technology education.
“I pretty much grew up doing science experiments,” she said. “I feel like I’ve been unofficially promoting science my whole life, and I felt like I could be a role model for kids.”
In addition to serving as an ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network hospitals and the official spokesperson for the Child Protection Registry, Arnold will be speaking to audiences across the state about her official platform, “Discover Your Potential – Step Up With STEM.” The acronym stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“To stay competitive worldwide we need to stay on top of research and development,” said Arnold. “To have the next generation aware of and excited about opportunities in those areas is extremely important.”
She’s also aware of how big an opportunity being named Miss Utah can be. In addition to a car and housing for a year, she won a $10,000 scholarship to continue her education.
“It was surreal,” Arnold said about hearing her name called out. “I never would have expected it in a million years, but I’m humbled, grateful, and excited by the opportunity.”
Arnold also won a preliminary award for the talent portion of the competition, where she played “Ballad in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 1” by Chopin.
“Chopin holds a very dear space in my heart,” she said, adding that she’s been studying piano since the age of 6. “To win the award was such an incredible honor. It made all the years of dedication worth it.”
She said that her focus on two such seemingly different disciplines was actually surprisingly compatible.
“They both develop your brain in such an important way,” Arnold said. “Music has helped me with school, and school has helped me with music. I would encourage anyone to pick up an instrument and see how music can enrich your life.”
Jessica Francis, who was named Miss Farmington in 2011, received the Miracle Maker Award (sponsored by the Children’s Miracle Network). Ciera Pekarcik, the 2010 Miss Davis County who was in the current pageant as Miss Pioneer Valley, was named second runner up.