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Miss America is talking about her historic win.

BeautyMiss America is talking about her historic win.

Madison Marsh, an Air Force officer, became the first active-duty Air Force officer to win the Miss America title.

During her freshman year at the Air Force Academy, Marsh began competing in pageants.

Her mother died of pancreatic cancer, and she is continuing her work with it.

It's not easy being in a military uniform, but U.S. Air Force officer Madison Marsh is trying to change that. In the past, people have believed that you might be judged and not be taken seriously as a leader, according to the first active-duty Air Force officer to win the title. She says that this proves that you can be feminine while leaning into your leadership role. She entered the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs because of her passion for flying and her dreams of becoming a marine biologist were not realized when she attended space camp. After graduation, the high achiever continued to pursue her education, including a graduate internship at Harvard Medical School, where she is studying ways to use artificial intelligence to detect cancer, and a master's degree in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. If I had not joined the Air Force, none of it would have happened.

Whitney died of cancer nine months after being diagnosed, and that was the biggest challenge she faced.

Marsh says his mom cared about giving back to the community. My mom wanted to make sure we had a loving environment and she wanted to give that to other kids as well, so that made my childhood so special.

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Less than two weeks after her mom's death, Whitney Marsh got an idea that led to the founding of The Whitney Marsh Foundation, which raises money for pancreatic cancer research. She says her brothers forced her to go to the gym as a healthy distraction. Marsh realized she needed to do something to honor her mother and decided to hold a yearly race which has raised close to $300,000 since the foundation was founded. Madison and Houston are related.

In her freshman year at the Air Force Academy, Marsh surprised her family by competing in beauty contests.

Everyone was confused at first. You wear the uniform 24/7. you own no civilian clothes.

The training is to break you down and build you up as a group. They had a stereotype but my family understood why I competed.

courtesy Whitney Marsh Foundation.

Being so driven to achieve took a toll. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be perfect.

Marsh was warned not to get so caught up in work that she forgot to make memories. Madison Marsh said she would read for 30 minutes every night so she wouldn't have to use her phone.

The women competing for Miss America are talented, passionate and well-spoken, according to Marsh. They are community driven and on a mission.

Although her title is opening new doors, she's going to take it one step at a time. "I'm excited for all of the options, but I've learned this past week not to plan too much because I wasn't expecting to win Miss America." We'll have to see where everything else goes as well now that we're here.

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