Miss Arkansas 2017 - Maggie Benton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

Miss Arkansas 2018 Claudia Raffo

Claudia Raffo is a 22-year old graduate of Arkansas State University.  In May of 2018 she received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry.  At Miss Arkansas, Claudia won a $30,000 scholarship provided by the Skokos Foundation and the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation and more than $75,000 in awards, wardrobe, transportation and gifts.  She will represent Arkansas at the 2019 Miss America Pageant which will be held in Atlantic City.  The finals will air live on ABC on September 9, 2018.  During her year as Miss Arkansas 2018, Claudia will make appearances across the Natural State serving as Arkansas’ spokesperson for the Children’s Miracle Network and the Arkansas Children’s Hospital and promoting her personal platform of “New Life Saves Lives:  Umbilical Cord Donation.”  She will also promote the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Organization while speaking about the goals of the Miss Arkansas and Miss America System.  

At this year’s Miss Arkansas Pageant, Claudia brought home an additional $13,500 in scholarships.  She tied for both the Katie Bailey Overall Swimsuit Award and the Sarah Slocum Overall Interview Award.  She also won the Live Webcast Audience Favorite Award, the Overall Service Above Self Award from Rotary Club #99, the Sigma Group Service Above Self Award, one of two Legacy Awards, the Marketplace Scholarship for Pharmacy Professions and the Asher Ray Mentor Award. During Preliminary Competition, Claudia won the Sigma Group Swimsuit Award. 

After her year as Miss Arkansas concludes. Claudia plans to use her scholarship money to obtain a Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of Arkansas for Medical Science.

This was Claudia’s fourth time to grace the Miss Arkansas stage and each year she continued to be a standout. In 2014, she won the Overall Alpha Talent Award, was voted Miss Congeniality and won the Bob Wheeler Spirit of the Pageant Award.  In 2015, Claudia competed as Miss Northeast Arkansas.  She finished 3rd Runner Up and won the Overall Evening Gown Award.  Claudia did not compete in 2016.  As Miss White River, in 2017, Claudia was 4th Runner Up and won the Katie Bailey Overall Swimsuit Award and Bill Tarkington Overall Evening Gown Award.

Claudia’s personal platform, “New Life Saves Lies,” aims to encourage others to realize the importance of umbilical cord donation to help fight against blood diseases and certain cancers.  She experienced first-hand the difference it can make. After surviving breast cancer and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, her grandmother was diagnosed with leukemia when Claudia was only 11 years old.  Doctors used the stem cells from donated umbilical cord blood to save her life.  Since then, Claudia and her family have been proactive in raising awareness for umbilical cord preservation and cord blood transplants. 

For her talent selection, Claudia performed a jazz dance to “This Is Life.”  She said that she selected this music because it describes the beauty of life’s unpredictability. 

While at Arkansas State University, Claudia served as President of Alpha Gamma Delta Fraternity and was Captain of the Red Wolves Dance Team.  She was an ASU Chancellor Ambassador, a delegate to the President’s Leadership Academy and was on the ASU Homecoming Court.  Claudia was the recipient of the A-State Pride Scholarship and a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. 

Claudia is the daughter of Paula and Tom Raffo of Jonesboro.  She is a 2014 graduate of Nettleton High School.  She has one sister, Anna, and one brother, Ford.  Claudia is the granddaughter of Jimmie Hawkins and the late Joe Hawkins of Calhoun City, Mississippi, Tom and Jackie Raffo of Jacksonville, Florida and the late Harriett Holmes Raffo.

*Appearances - To book Miss Arkansas please visit www.missarkansas.org/bookmissarkansas . You may also email the Booking Manager at bookmissar@gmail.com .   call (501)321-3506.

 

Topics for Speaking Engagements

 The Miss America Organization & its impact on my life

  New Life Saves Lives:  Umbilical Cord Donation (for all school/adult audiences) 

 Goal Setting and Confidence Building (for all school audiences)

 My testimony and the role my faith plays into my life (for church appearances)