Jillian, a broadcast journalism major and music minor at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, was raised in Grass Valley, California. She is one of seven granddaughters, all of whom have competed in a Miss America preliminary competition. Jillian has trained as a classical pianist for 17 years, and she also plays the harp and guitar. At 18, she started a program called ‘Arts in the Afternoon’ where she spent a year teaching a third grade class to play the recorder and read treble clef. After graduating from Cal Poly, she is planning a career in entertainment media.

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