WILLISTON, N.D. — It's going to be a week of firsts for Haley Wolfe — likely more than just a week, really.
For example, Monday, June 17, was the first time Wolfe put the Miss North Dakota crown on her own head. She has to get used to doing that, because on Saturday, Wolfe, 21, was named Miss North Dakota 2019 during the annual competition. She beat out a field of 19 other young women to take the crown.
Saturday was a particularly special night for Wolfe, because not only did she win the crown, she also got to share the stage with her sister, Sabrina. Both of them made it to the top 11 and so were featured on stage Saturday.
"My mom was freaking out," Wolfe said.
This was only the second time Wolfe, a Carrington native who lives in Fargo and attends Minnesota State University Moorhead, competed for the title of Miss North Dakota. She went through the Miss North Dakota's Outstanding Teen competitions, but surgery on her feet kept her sidelined from the main competition for several years.
After she healed, though, she decided to compete for Miss North Dakota, but she never thought she would win.
"The main reason I do it is for the scholarship money," she said.
Her time competing has earned her enough in scholarships that she'll have essentially no debt when she graduates with an accounting degree. She has one semester to go at MSUM, but for now, that's on hold.
Now that Wolfe is Miss North Dakota 2019, she has a busy year ahead of her. She wants to support Kaylee Moss, who was named Miss North Dakota's Outstanding Teen 2019 on Friday, as Moss prepares for the national competition, which starts in late July.
Then she needs to get ready for the Miss America competition. Usually, that's set for September in Atlantic City, but right now there is no date for the event, and the location hasn't been announced.
"We're still working on making sure we prepare as best we can," Wolfe said.
In the meantime, she'll start visiting schools around the state. Wolfe's platform is #BeThe1To, which is designed to raise awareness about teen suicide and how it can be stopped.
That's a cause that hits close to home for her, because a cousin took his own life when he was 18.
"I'd like to share his story and raise awareness in our state because it's kind of a big issue," she said.
As Miss West Fargo, she took part in the Fargo Walk Out of Darkness, which raises money for suicide prevention. She hopes to use her platform to raise even more money and more awareness for the cause, as well as for the Children's Miracle Network.
"I just love giving back, especially when you have something like a crown to use as a megaphone to raise awareness," she said.