FYI:  The newly crowned Miss America for 2018 is ALA member and former ALA Girls Nation Senator from North Dakota Cara Mund.  Cara attended ALA GN in 2011, and was crowned Miss America 2018 on 9/10/17.  She has been an ALA member since 1994 when she was about 8 months old.  You may recall that Miss America 2009 was ALA member Katie Stam from Indiana.  Katie, who chose to focus her attention on veterans and military families during her reign as Miss America, was a speaker at ALA National Convention.  So, within just one decade, TWO Auxiliary members have been crowned Miss America!

We congratulate Cara and are delighted at her achievement.  While Cara’s one year reign as Miss America will be jam-packed, we hope we can catch up with her as she travels the country this coming year.  What a wonderful accomplishment for Auxiliary member and ALA Girls Nation alum Cara!

[…Alasno mention of American Legion Auxiliary in the press releases or news stories about Cara Mund being crowned Miss America 2018 – they only list “Girls State and Girls Nation” among her high school’s extracurricular activities. (See highlighted reference below in the news stories about her.)  None of the millions who read or watch video news about her will hear or see that it is the American Legion Auxiliary that presents ALA Girls Nation and ALA Girls State.  It is so very important that we always say and write the complete name: American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation and American Legion Auxiliary Girls State.  Even by using “ALA Girls Nation’ and “ALA Girls State”, responsible media reporters will research the acronym “ALA, using the full name of the program had reporters seen or heard the ALA name in front of “Girls State” or “Girls Nation”.  There are nearly 900,000 ALA Girls State alumnae. While Cara does know, most do not recall who presented and funded the program. Using the shortened name doesn’t trigger any association of the program with the American Legion Auxiliary. A huge media awareness opportunity for the ALA has been missed, the unfortunate impact of lack of consistent branding – speaking and writing American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation and ALA Girls State.]

More about Miss American 2018 Cara Mund:  Cara Mund is the first contestant from North Dakota to win the Miss America title. Having graduated from Brown University, she also became the first Ivy League alumnus to win the pageant in the last 64 years. She was previously crowned Miss North Dakota 2017, and finished 1st runner-up for Miss North Dakota 2016 pageant. She started dancing since the age of two and later trained with the Rockettes and won many dance awards. On the Miss America stage, she choreographed her own jazz dance performance to Michael Jackson’s ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’. A philanthropist since her early teens, she is actively involved with the Make-a-Wish Foundation through her ‘A Make-A-Wish Passion with Fashion’ initiative. Her charitable endeavors were officially recognized by the then-President Barack Obama in 2011.

 Personal Life – Cara Mund was born in Bismarck, North Dakota in 1994. She attended Century High School from 2009 to 2012 and was an active child at school. She was part of the Girls State and Girls Nation programs; served as National Honor Society President and Senior Class Vice President; was the Vice President of the Student Council; earned the Coca-Cola Scholarship in May 2012; and was part of the Cheerleading Team and the Speech Team. NFL quarterback Carson Wentz was her classmate at school. After completing school, she enrolled into Brown University from where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business, Entrepreneurship, and Organizations (BEO) in 2016. In college too, she was involved in a number of activities and was part of various societies. She was the President of her Kappa Delta Sorority for over a year. She served as a Teaching Assistant at the Engineering department of the university for almost two years and also was a Research Assistant there for two and a half years. She was a Campus Tour Guide at Brown University for three years and five months. She was accepted into the Notre Dame Law School in 2016, but deferred further education to take part in the Miss Dakota pageant. She intends to use her Miss America Scholarship to fund her Juris Doctorate degree.


Philanthropy – Cara Mund’s involvement with the Make-A-Wish Foundation began when she witnessed a sick friend die on her 14th birthday. Her friend’s family requested that the memorial donations go to the charity. Since then, she has organized, directed and choreographed North Dakota’s only Annual Make-A-Wish Fashion Show, and has independently raised nearly $80,000 to grant wishes for children suffering from life-threatening medical conditions. On the Miss America stage, she acknowledged her mother to be her greatest inspiration, as despite being diagnosed with cancer three times, she has taught her to face every situation with positivity.

The American Legion Auxiliary joins the world in congratulating ALA member Cara Mund on being crowned Miss America 2018!

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Mary “Dubbie” Buckler I Executive Director/National Secretary I American Legion Auxiliary National HeadquartersI Direct: 317-569-4506; Fax: 317-569-4502I I In the Spirit of Service Not Self  for Veterans, God and Country