Miss America Grace Stanke leaves Yerkes as the snow begins to fall. Photo courtesy visit Lake Geneva.

LAKE GENEVA — Newly crowned Miss America, Grace Stanke, will continue her welcome home tour Friday with a visit to Badger High School and later a community coffee in Lake Geneva.

Stanke, 20, a senior nuclear engineering student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was crowned Miss America on Dec. 15 and hopes to use her platform to inspire girls to pursue fields in STEM.

At 9:30 a.m., Friday, Stanke will holdĀ a community visit at Inspired Coffee, 883 W. Main Street.

Inspired Coffee is a special place that employs people with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities where they are celebrated, job trained, coached and, over time, placed into a fully integrated work setting.

Stanke chose Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay for her opening news conference Thursday because it has been home to some of the most accomplished women scientists and researchers.

It was an ideal setting, given the legacy of women science pioneers who studied and worked at Yerkes and Stanke’s pursuit of a degree in nuclear engineering and a platform that promotes STEM careers for young women, according to a news release.

Joining Stanke was a “who’s who” of women achievers, including Dr. Amanda Bauer, working astronomer and the first woman to serve as Director of Science at Yerkes, and Stephanie Klett, a former Miss Wisconsin herself, former Wisconsin Tourism Secretary, and CEO of the Lake Geneva visitor bureau.

The guests were given a tour of the dome housing the world’s largest refracting telescope, and Stanke treated the crowd to a violin performance.

By Staff Report

Walworth County Community News