The newly-crowned Miss Iowa, who was born with her left forearm missing, isn't letting that stop her from taking on the duties of her title. She also says she's going to use her experience to help others overcome their disabilities.
"As I grew up, I learned to counterbalance the initial stares I received from people with an outgoing personality that would not give into "no." This means that I tried everything. From baseball, to dance, to diving - there is nothing I would not try. I found my passion within a world where I was giving people permission to stare: the stage," 23-year old Nicole Kelly said.
Ultimately, Kelly wants to work on Broadway and is majoring in directing and theater management at the University of Nebraska. Though performing is in her veins, she says she never dreamed she'd be wearing a crown.
“If you would have told me a year ago that ‘pageant queen’ was in my future I would have laughed,” she wrote in a statement.“Giving voice to a platform is a great honor and I am excited to continue my adventure of speaking out and touching lives.”