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'Absolutely amazing'

Photo by Evan Krape

UD senior to compete for Miss America title in September

Amanda Debus, a University of Delaware senior health and physical education major from Middletown, Delaware, will be among the contestants vying for the Miss America crown on Sunday, Sept. 11, in Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Debus, who also has minors in dance and health, physical activity and disability studies, won the title of Miss Delaware during a competition held June 11 at Dover Downs.

“I was in shock,” Debus said. “You work so hard toward a goal for so long that once it actually comes to fruition, it’s absolutely amazing. To see my huge support system of family, friends, co-workers and sorority sisters in the audience was awesome.”

The Miss Delaware crown also comes with a $10,000 scholarship prize.

The road to the Miss America competition in Atlantic City began in earnest when Debus won the 2008 Miss Delaware’s Outstanding Teen competition, she said.

“I was asked by my baton coach, Lisa Munzert Bonaquisti, Miss Delaware 1990, to start competing in pageants as a way to practice my talent,” Debus said. “I’m an extremely competitive person, and once I found that I could earn scholarship money for competing, I was hooked.”

An ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network, the national platform for Miss America, Debus also is an advocate for ALL-AWARE, promoting allergy awareness.

“I have traveled to national food allergy conferences and have worked with legislators to pass laws pertaining to emergency access to epinephrine,” Debus said. “I visit schools, camps and after-school programs to promote the organization and have done this over the summer while preparing for Miss America competition in September.”

Debus, who plans to work toward a master’s degree in adapted physical education and teach adapted physical education for grades K-12, said she is extremely excited about the upcoming competition in Atlantic City.

“There have only been 75 women to compete as Miss Delaware on that stage, and I’m one of them,” Debus said. “It will be an experience that I can tell my grandchildren and great-grandchildren about.” 

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