OSHKOSH – Last week was a whirlwind for Grace Stanke.

Stanke arrived in Oshkosh as Miss Badgerland, one of 22 candidates vying for the title of Miss Wisconsin 2022. The Wausau native started competing with the Miss Wisconsin Organization as a teenager, earning the title of Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen in 2017.

But when she learned she had won the title of Miss Wisconsin Saturday, she was still “in disbelief,” and was incredibly emotional in the moment.

In an interview with The Northwestern on Sunday, Stanke said her engineering mind started doing what it does best — making lists and coming up with a plan of what should be a whirlwind of a year representing the state.

Part of her year of service will be spreading the word on her social impact pitch, “Clean Energy, Cleaner Future,” which was part of the Miss Wisconsin competition. In that role, she hopes to promote zero-carbon energy sources like nuclear energy so the state can help reduce the effects of the climate crisis.

“I’m really excited to start working on policy work and helping make zero-carbon energy more accessible,” Stanke said.

Grace Stanke built confidence through the Miss Wisconsin competition

Stanke started playing the violin when she was 8 years old and took private lessons through most of her life. But she said when she would be performing at competitions, she would “shake,” which would hurt the sound quality.

Her desire to gain more experience in front of an audience is what got her involved in the Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen competitions.  

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