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Grace Chapa ’24 won this year’s Miss Kenosha Scholarship Competition, continuing the legacy of Carthage students who have claimed the title.

Grace Chapa ?24 was crowned Miss Kenosha on Feb. 17, 2024. Credit: Sam Vaughn Photography and Stephanie from Bird of Paradox Studios As Miss Kenosha 2024, Grace follows in the footsteps of the past two scholarship winners, Willow Newell ’25 and Jenna Zeihen ’22, along with many other previous alumni of the College.

For her community service initiative, Grace will work to make college more accessible to underrepresented students.

“As a first-generation Latina college student, I am very passionate about education,” she wrote. “I am the proud product of my family’s hard work and sacrifice, and never take this opportunity for granted.”

At Carthage, Grace studies Spanish with a secondary education minor. She is the marketing chair and former president of Mi Gente, an organization that educates students about Hispanic culture.

She teaches salsa and bachata dance classes as a volunteer with the nonprofit Kenosha Creative Space and works for Carthage’s unique Urban Teacher Preparation Program. In January, Grace became one of the College’s first Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award recipients.

“My dream for this initiative is that students who did not think they were smart enough, rich enough, or privileged enough to attend university can believe that they belong in higher education,” she wrote. “As a future teacher, I have seen firsthand how believing in a student can change their trajectory.”

Grace, the principal horn player in the Carthage Wind Orchestra, performed the piece “Nocturno” for the talent portion of the competition.

As Miss Kenosha, Grace will make appearances at special events throughout southeastern Wisconsin. The one-year role qualifies her to compete for the Miss Wisconsin title in June.

Among this year’s other Carthage contestants, Mariah Bader ’24 was the second runner-up and Kyah Jernigan ’25 received the Spirit of Miss Kenosha Award. Morgan Kelsey ’27 and Leah Oyen ’26 also competed in the Feb. 17 event. Tori (Bogren) Pillizzi ’14, another former winner, directs the competition.