Meet the New Miss America

Laura Kaeppeler tells Lara Spencer how it felt to win the coveted crown.
3:42 | 01/17/12

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Transcript for Meet the New Miss America
And what do glamorous and exciting Saturday night that I had in Vegas I was honored to be -- Josh. I yes Josh I said it had John -- at the Miss America pageant. Where mrs. miss Wisconsin -- gorgeous opera singing Laura -- dad don't dabbled everybody walked off with the title. A dream come true for her and here she is. Here she is I noticed there all but it -- -- Yeah yeah. What's more I have learned then -- crowned are beauty contest is a year of service that you are now dedicated. To give your time -- with 365. Days you'll be living out of a suitcase are your -- I'm ready you know we just got into New York last night and I had my three suitcases with me so it's it's starting to sink in today's -- on the job site could not. You more thrilled could not be -- -- take back to that moment I was there I got I -- -- close and personal but. I wondered what you must be feeling when you it was down to -- and I could tell how nervous you more. And you heard your name. I was standing there with miss Oklahoma but Thompson into existence meetings young girl and -- -- and just said. Whatever happens to -- know it will be in good hands and I was just waiting there I was I think -- -- crying before my name was even called. It was a surreal it was just so some real looking back it's sort of looked alert to -- today but it's it's so exciting. Matt strategy that the girlfriend come because I was last night you were sort of looking down -- -- are trying to tell you wiped her eyes because now Marriott waterfront. And a improvements there doesn't mean it didn't want my mind it's -- out there when I saw the photos but. -- real you know thinking. On the young girls. This is what a wonderful group of ladies it was -- circled around you they turn you around before you had to your pictures and they clean your eyes now and you know that's. So did you testament that we really became -- family also to three of -- got along so well and we made such good friends that. It didn't matter who when we were going to be so supportive of whoever that pearl was. Did you. Was there a moment where you thought. -- -- -- You know hasn't kept making the cut I did my swimwear and -- into the evening down -- -- to my talent I was feeling confident and more confident. And I felt like once I got down to the final five I thought -- -- does you know. Oh goodness. I thought it is visited far -- it may get I'm gonna be so happy and so proud and just to be on that state was an honor and then to actually be named this -- has just. The -- of mind boggling and -- -- lucky warm. I was so impressed on day one we -- -- interview all of you all 53 and you are so passionate about your platform. Which is mentoring the children of incarcerated parents -- you yourself are wind and I what does that mean to you be able -- get out there this year and spread that message. Well using the power of Miss America Miss America crown is gonna give me such a louder voice to be an advocate for these children. And really stressing the importance to them the education and -- education is going to be the future to their success rather than falling to the norms of incarceration -- their for their family members may have fallen to his while so. It it really stems from such a personal experience -- -- so passionate about it and I'm so excited to. There -- and dad right there -- I know that I had a long conversation with him about whether or not to reveal the fact that he had served time in federal prison. And he was totally on board is he spreading -- yeah he's been my biggest supporter we've kind of Bennett teen doing this -- do a lot of speaking engagements together. And I think we're really great representation of Powell. What ever happens in your past doesn't have to define you and you can always look forward to the future and have a great relationship with your parent no matter where they have sent.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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