Miss Minnesota 2022 reflects as the crown is ready to be passed on

[anvplayer video=”5181842″ station=”998128″]

(ABC 6 News) – For one full year, one Minnesota woman gets to represent her state as Miss Minnesota. A title that is much more than a sash and tiara.

Rachel Evangelisto had the honor to be Miss Minnesota 2022 and is the first indigenous Miss Minnesota. Starting pageants at age 13, she fell in love with it. Like everyone, COVID put her life on pause. But it was inspiring native youth that kept her going.

“Representation does matter so much. I knew that would’ve mattered for me when I was a kid. I know it matters for the many kids I work with as a guardian. I’m really excited to continue that representation as the first Miss Indigenous Miss Minnesota,” Evangelisto said.

Evangelisto plans to go to law school at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul this fall.

Miss St. Croix Valley, Morgan Mohler is one of the women up for this year’s crown. An Associate Clinical Research Coordinator at Mayo Clinic, she’s bringing what she’s learned there, into her pageant work.

“You walk into a room and you don’t know the patient. Just maybe what you’ve read on their chart. You have to try to relate to them and understand what they’re going through. Meet them where they’re at and express that compassion,” said Mohler.

“Moving into that role as Miss Minnesota, I’d be able to express that to kids who’d be facing adversity and just different areas in their life.”

Mohler’s research focuses on Multiple Sclerosis and Autoimmune Neurology (CMSAN.)

Nearly 30 women are competing for this year’s title. The preliminary competition begins Wednesday at Treasure Island Resort and Casino. The big finale will be on Friday night.