Literacy and breast cancer screenings are the two platforms the new Miss Iowa U-S-A says she’ll promote as she makes appearances around the state. 22-year-old Fort Dodge native Brooke Hansen was crowned in Cedar Rapids over the weekend. Hansen says she’s focused on literacy as she has a degree in elementary education, while her mother is now fighting her third bout with breast cancer. Hansen graduated from the University of Iowa in May and hopes to get a job teaching second grade somewhere in Iowa next year. She was chosen to wear the crown from among 45 other contestants after interviews and swimsuit and evening gown modeling competitions. Hansen lives in Iowa City and works as counter manager for Clinique Cosmetics at Dillard’s in Coralville’s Coral Ridge Mall. She says it’s coincidence she even entered the Miss Iowa USA Pageant. As part of her job at the mall, Hansen was sent to Cedar Rapids to do makeup for pageant contestants and the directors recruited her on the spot to compete. She calls it a Cinderella story as it’s her first-ever entry in a pageant. Her next goal is competing with other contestants from across the U.S. for a special pageant edition of the TV show “Fear Factor.” She says only six of the 50 contestants will be chosen for the show so she’ll plan to “suck it up a little bit and eat cow’s eyes and do all that nasty stuff” to make the cut on the reality gross-out program. Hansen will represent Iowa at the Miss U-S-A Pageant to be seen on N-B-C in February. The national winner of that pageant advances to the international beauty competition, Miss Universe in May. Also chosen over the weekend, the new Miss Iowa Teen U-S-A is Shannon Hofmeister of Oelwein, a 17-year-old senior at Oelwein High School. Hofmeister advances to the “Miss Teen U-S-A” Pageant on N-B-C in August.
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