FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/ KFTA) — A total of 52 young women competed in the 83rd Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant held in Little Rock on Saturday, June 18, but there could only be one winner.

The newly crowned Miss Arkansas 2021, Whitney Williams joined KNWA Today & Fox 24 Morning News to highlight her most recent achievement and discuss her plans for the year ahead. Williams is a Speech Language Pathology major at the University of Arkansas who will take off the next year to serve the state.

“I am a people person, I love talking to people getting to know them, also serving the state and hopefully going to Miss America and doing my absolute on that stage to represent Arkansas” said Williams.

In an effort to bring arts to Arkansas and arts out of people across the state, Williams founded her own non-profit organization “Heart for the Arts”, which also serves as her social impact initiative.

“When I was seven years old, I was diagnosed with dyslexia and I was told that I would never excel in the academics. Through that I found the arts and the arts gave me the confidence to not fear failure. So I share that with students and give them the opportunity to have a bright future in their education” she added.

A baton twirler since the age of just 10 years old, Williams held the title of Miss University of Arkansas and is a member of the Razorback Majorettes. She is the first baton twirler to win the title of Miss Arkansas.

“It was nice to make that history, to change that statistic. I was just so thankful for the opportunity to showcase that talent on stage” said Williams.

Williams won a total of $42,500 in scholarships from the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant. She will represent the state at the Miss America Pageant in December.