ATLANTIC CITY — Students and faculty members at Atlantic City High School greeted Miss America Cara Mund with a standing ovation Tuesday as she returned to the city she was crowned in two months ago.
Mund, who was the first candidate from North Dakota to be crowned Miss America, came to the school Tuesday to talk and give advice to students while also hosting a question-and-answer forum.
One of the main topics of discussion was Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, who went to high school with Mund in Bismarck, North Dakota.
“Everyone says how great of a guy he is, and that’s exactly how he was in high school,” Mund said. “Some in the media showed up (in North Dakota) to try and find dirt on him, and they found nothing. He just has a really great heart.”
Mund, who returned home to North Dakota after visiting ACHS, said the state is now filled with billboards of the Eagles and of Miss America.
“It’s really become Eagles territory,” she told the students. “There are also a lot of Miss America things around, too, which is just awesome.”
Mund segued the conversation about Wentz into a discussion on being safe on social media and keeping your chin up when things go badly.
When you look for a job or become someone who is in the spotlight, people will search your entire social media history to find something inappropriate, she said. She encouraged the students to be smart and safe on social media, and that being young isn’t an excuse or a factor.
“When you post something on social media, it stays there,” she said.
She also talked about grasping opportunities and not giving up dreams when things don’t go your way. When she was in high school, Mund was told by guidance counselors her goal of attending an Ivy League school was most likely unattainable for a young woman in North Dakota.
She ended up attending Brown University.
After unsuccessfully competing in the Miss North Dakota campaign, Mund was ready to give up her Miss America dream and continue school. Instead, she was talked into competing again, and won. Then, she was told her chances of becoming Miss America were slim because no one from North Dakota had ever won the competition. A few months later, she won the crown in Atlantic City.
She said she can trace a lot of her success to hard work, and that it goes to show you never truly know who you go to school with, because the opportunities in life are endless.
“Although you may be young, age is not a factor,” she said. “You never know who you’re sitting next to — it could be the next Carson Wentz or Miss America.”