Miss Missouri Jennifer Davis finished as first runner-up during Sunday night’s Miss America pageant in Atlantic City. Miss North Dakota, Cara Mund, took the crown.

Miss Missouri Jennifer Davis

Davis, of mid-Missouri’s Mexico, has been competing in pageants since she was 11 months old.

“I knew what it was like to learn how to lose, basically. I think that’s a really big skill that you should have, is what it means to work really hard for something but it not being your time just yet,” says Davis.

Her platform is the same topic as a children’s book she has written entitled Diversity Matters.

“It’s all about talking about diversity to younger children, about how we accept other people and embrace other cultures as well,” she says.

Davis says her family has inspired her cause. She is a minority and her brother is gay. In a video posted to her Facebook page, Davis says, “This platform means so much to me because I know what it’s like to be the only one who looks like me in a crowd, and to feel different because of how I was born.”

During the talent competition, Davis performed a high-energy Bollywood dance routine to the song “Naacho Re”.

She is a 2016 St. Louis University graduate majoring in Communications and is working on becoming a physician’s assistant specializing in pediatric oncology.