Fifth time’s the charm for new Miss Oakland County

Farmington Hills native Grace Newlin, 21, was contestant number 5 in this year’s Miss Oakland County pageant, held July 13 at Oakland University’s Dodge Hall Auditorium.

The event was also Newlin’s fifth pageant appearance – and the one from which she walked away with the title.

Grace Newlin
Newly crowned Miss Oakland County Grace Newlin spoke with Farmington city council members on Monday.

“Five was a very lucky number for me this year,” she told Farmington city council members Monday.

In addition to the crown, Newlin received $1,525 in education scholarships as well as several other prizes and gifts. She also won a $100 scholarship for best On-Stage Interview, plus an additional $1,525 in-kind scholarship from the Oakland University Engineering and Science Department.

Miss Oakland County Grace Newlin
(Robert Bowden Photography)

The 2012 Miss Farmington 2nd runner-up and a Farmington High alum, Newlin will represent Oakland County at the 2020 Miss Michigan Competition in Muskegon next June.

Newlin currently attends the Henry Ford Community College School of Nursing and is a certified Emergency Medical Technician. Her Social Impact Initiative is “Keep the Beat – Heart Disease Education”, a topic that hits close to home.

Newlin said she lost her grandfather to heart disease at an early age, and she is at risk for heart disease.

“My big goal is to get the word out (about heart health),” she said, adding that she has created a Facebook page to boost that effort.

Miss Oakland County court
(Robert Bowden Photography)

The 2019 Miss Oakland County court includes:

  • Flint’s Erica Kennedy, 22, a student at Oakland University, earned an $800 scholarship as the First Runner Up. Kennedy also earned the competition’s Talent Award and an additional $175 scholarship for her vocal performance of “I’m A Star”.
  • Brooke Timlin of Redford Twp., a 24-year old student at Lawrence Tech, was Second Runner Up, capturing a $700 scholarship, in addition to her Miss America Scholar Award of $150.
  • Novi’s Jaymie Ziegler, a 23-year old graduate of Wayne State University was the Third Runner Up, winning a $600 scholarship. She also received a $300 scholarship as the Aldo Vagnozzi Community Service Award recipient.
  • Fourth Runner Up was a newcomer, Lekha Mutyala, 23, of Farmington Hills. Mutyala, a former Miss Farmington contestant and Nova Southeastern University graduate, earned a $500 scholarship.

Also on Saturday, Breckyn Bussey,15, of St. Joseph, became the 2019 Miss Oakland County’s Outstanding Teen. She competed with her personal platform, “Flipping for Fitness: Promoting Healthy Living through Physical Activity”. She will represent Oakland County at Michigan’s Outstanding Teen Competition next June in Muskegon.

In its second year hosting the Miss Oakland County Scholarship Program, Oakland University’s Engineering and Science Department awarded new in-kind scholarships: $1,525 to the new Miss Oakland County and $1,000 to each runner-up.

“We are deeply grateful to Oakland University for expanding the scholarship opportunities for our Miss Oakland County candidates,” executive director Francesca Tuzzolino said in a press release. “It is one of the premier academic institutions in the Midwest.”

The 2019 competition was the first Miss Oakland County held under the new “Miss America 2.0” format, which contains a modified Evening Gown competition that finishes with a Social Impact Statement, no swimsuit competition, and modified scoring percentages for each phase of competition.

The Miss Oakland County Scholarship Program, a preliminary competition to Miss Michigan and Miss America, provides scholarship opportunities to women that either work, live or attend school in Oakland County.