The Miss America crown could be coming home to Arkansas next week.

Each year we see some of America's most fierce women jump on stage for the chance to represent their respective state while competing for the title of Miss America. The title is more than just a scholarship opportunity. It's also an opportunity to become a powerhouse for their communities, states, and beyond. She becomes a mentor to the next generation of young women while also serving as the National Ambassador for Children's Miracle Network, the national partner of the Miss America Organization.

The competition got underway with a welcome ceremony in New Jersey this week.

This year Claudia Elizabeth Raffo is representing Arkansas. The Jonesboro native is passionate about New Life Save Lives: Umbilical Cord Donation. This stem cell procedure actually extended the life of her grandmother who was diagnosed with leukemia. Claudia wants to use the Miss America platform to spread awareness and create more opportunities to extend families' time together.

The 2019 Miss America Competition begins Wednesday, September 5 and will conclude on Sunday, September 9. The competition takes place in Atlantic City, New Jersey. You can watch the final competition Sunday on ABC at 9 p.m. ET.

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