A 23-year old opera singing student from Wisconsin took the Miss America title in Las Vegas. Laura Kaeppeler says she doesn’t have a boyfriend by choice because her duties as Miss America require her full concentration. But just because she doesn’t have a boyfriend doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a “love of her life”, which she admits is her Maltese dog Smokey.

Kaeppeler once worked at a drive-in restaurant in her hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin and she admits that her father has served time in prison due to his involvement in a white collar crime. It inspired Kaeppeler to found Circles of Support which is designed to help the children of incarcerated parents. She loves to sing and thinks she inherited her singing talent from her grandmother, who attended the famous Julliard School of Music in New York City.

Singing to win the Miss America crown wasn’t the first time she’s sung for a large audience, having sung at Brewers and Packers football games back in Wisconsin.