WILLISTON (AP) - Ashley Young, of Grand Forks, is the new Miss North Dakota.
"Praise to the Lord - God is good," Young said after she was crowned Saturday night before a packed crowd at Williston High School.
Young, 19, is a North Dakota State University music student and a graduate of Grand Forks Red River High School.
She was named first runner-up in last year's Miss North Dakota pageant. She succeeds Annette Olson, of Baldwin.
Young's platform as Miss North Dakota is a campaign to stop bullying in schools.
Young is working on a doctorate degree and plans to become a professor of musicology.
She sang her way into the hearts of the Miss North Dakota judges with an opera selection, portraying a chambermaid caught in the act of dressing up in the lady of the manor's clothing.
During the interview part of the competition, Miss North Dakota 2006 Jacqueline Johnson asked Young what made her the happiest.
"I am happiest when I am doing the thing I am made to be doing," Young said. It involves being "in the right spot at the right time," she said.
In a follow-up question, she was asked what she would ask President Bush if she were given five minutes to be a spokeswoman for her peers.
"I would ask how he deals with the day-to-day pressures of being an icon," Young said. She hoped that knowledge would be something she could take back to others her own age and help them to use it to deal with local problems, she said.
Runners-up Saturday were Jenni Glick, of Minot, Tessie Jones, of Fargo, Tina Domagala, of Williston, and Katie Weaver, of Minot.
Olson shared her experiences of the past year as Miss North Dakota. Among the highlights, she said, was the chance to travel to Las Vegas for the Miss America Scholarship Pageant, where she met amazing young women from around the country.
"Miss America is the largest scholarship program for women in the world," Olson said. "It rewards women of intellect, talent and character."