Kelsey Swanson, 22, of Cranston Rhode Island is the Newly Crowned Miss Rhode Island USA 2017. The pageant was held at the Vets Memorial Auditorium on September 11, 2016. This was Kelsey's third time competing for Miss Rhode Island USA. The first time she competed she signed up 9 days before it started, not having a single idea about pageantry. This was a huge step out of her comfort zone and something she only dreamed she could experience. The moment she stepped on stage, she knew her goals and aspirations would change forever; she remarkably placed first runner-up. She came back again to compete in the 2016 Miss Rhode Island USA pageant and once again placed first runner-up. It wasn’t until the 2017 Miss Rhode Island USA pageant, that she finally won the title!
Kelsey grew up in Cranston the majority of her life, but moved around quite a bit. She attended 4 different elementary schools as a child. One thing that stayed consistent was her artistic ability. She had a passion for art for as long as she can remember. She also remained active as a child, participating in soccer, dance, gymnastics and ice-skating. In junior high, she took up track and cross -country and placed first place in the city's cross-country meet. In high school she took her art classes very seriously, winning numerous Scholastic Art Awards. Kelsey also enjoys cooking and baking and prides herself in her ability to make outstanding steak and cheese, and buffalo chicken calzones. In 2012, Kelsey took her first trip without her parents and backpacked across Europe. Her passion for traveling and determination to see the world has since grown tremendously. Today, Kelsey has visited a total of 17 countries.
The road to the crown has not been an easy ride. She has endured a great deal of adversity while working towards the title. At the end of 2014, Kelsey was in a car accident. Through treatment for a head injury, doctors discovered a brain tumor she never knew existed. This accident was a blessing in disguise. Without the removal of the tumor, Kelsey would have lost most of her eyesight. The doctors allowed her to hold off her surgery to compete in the 2016 Miss Rhode Island USA pageant as long as symptoms did not arise. In November of 2015, Kelsey had an extensive, but successful four-hour surgery to remove the tumor, and a few months after Kelsey's surgery her mother was diagnosed with Breast cancer. All of these circumstances have transformed her into a strong, resilient woman, more eager to come back for the 2017 Miss Rhode Island USA pageant, to take home the title.
Follow Kelsey’s journey as she prepares for the 2017 Miss USA pageant; she is determined to make Rhode Island proud!