Miss Nebraska 2019 Allie Swanson woke up Sunday morning still processing her victory on Saturday night.
Swanson, 24, of Omaha, was awarded nearly $12,000 in cash scholarships, use of a car during her year of service, a prize package valued at more than $25,000 and MBA program packages at both Midland and Bellevue universities.
“Words really can’t explain,” Swanson said. “I’m still coming down off the high, honestly. I really didn’t get a lot of sleep last night.”
She said she hadn’t taken a look at her phone yet to see messages from friends.
“It’s just such an amazing feeling,” Swanson said. “You work so hard in preparation for this week of competition.”
The first part of the week, Swanson said, goes by so slowly.
“But once the competition hits, it’s just like that,” Swanson said as she snapped her fingers. “It goes by so fast.”
Swanson will compete in the Miss America pageant later this year. The date and location have yet to be determined, according to local Miss Nebraska directors, but it will be televised on NBC.
Swanson won both the overall interview award (in a tie), and a preliminary on-stage interview award, as well as a preliminary evening wear award. She was also the Miss Nebraska Community Service Award winner.
“To be rewarded with those two preliminary awards and then take home the crown at the end is just super rewarding,” Swanson said. “All those appearances you do as a local title holder and not even doing it to be Miss Nebraska, but just to serve Nebraska, is really the heart behind my year and my vision for the (coming) year.”
Swanson is a fifth-generation Nebraskan and said she is very proud of that heritage.
“I don’t want this to be about me,” Swanson said. “I know I won Miss Nebraska, but I don’t take this responsibility lightly and I love my state.”
After graduating from Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri, with a communications degree and a minor in music business, Swanson moved back home to Nebraska. She has been varsity basketball assistant coach at Millard North High School for two years, where she also played on a state championship finals team.
This year was her second year competing in the Miss Nebraska Scholarship Program.
“I’ve been an athlete my whole life, so I had to pick where to invest my time,” Swanson said. “So playing four years of college basketball is a year-round thing.
“I didn’t want to start doing the Miss Nebraska program and not fully commit to it. Especially being in a different state, that’s why I chose to wait.”
For her future, Swanson said her goal is to be the CEO of her own company.
“I want to create a type of technology that adds to the world,” Swanson said. “So much of technology takes away from it. I don’t really know what that looks like completely, and I’m not going to give all my ideas away,” she added with a laugh.
Swanson is also involved with her church.
“I go to My City Church in Omaha and I’m actually the kids worship coach,” Swanson said. “I’m (in charge) of everything having to do with kids worship and I love it and I love kids.”
She said it’s great to see the smiles on the kids faces each week and to have a part in their lives.
“The most meaningful thing in the world is (to know) they come home and say, ‘Mom, this is what I learned,’” Swanson said. “Or they’re singing a song at the dinner table, and I love that because you’re having an impact on their life.”
Swanson said she wants to continue to have an impact in the lives of young people as Miss Nebraska as well.