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Norfolkan Jasmine Fuelberth crowned Miss Nebraska USA


Jasmine Fuelberth said she couldn't even explain what she was feeling when she won the title of Miss Nebraska USA.

"I just knew that I had prepared the best I could and that I'd done everything that I could to prepare for that moment,” the Norfolkan said. “And I just left the rest in God's hands."

The 20-year-old daughter of Carl and Nancy Fuelberth of Norfolk and a former Miss Nebraska Teen USA, this was her first time competing in the Miss Nebraska USA pageant, which took place at the Rose Theater in Omaha last month.

The competition spans a weekend with the first day being preliminary competition and the top 10 highest composite scorers moving on to the next night. The women are judged in three main areas: evening gown, swimsuit and personal interviews.

"Swimsuit shows how disciplined you are, having healthy eating habits and determination, and then with evening gown, it shows confidence and grace and poise," Fuelberth said.

But her favorite area of competition is the personal interviews.

"You get four minutes with each of the judges one-on-one. You just rotate around the room. So it's cool, it's just a conversation where you get to know them and they get to know see your heart," she said.

The next night, the top 10 contestants in all three areas compete again in the swimsuit and evening gown competitions with the top five finalists then advancing to an interviewing portion onstage. Judges can ask contestants questions from a wide range of topics, including current events.

Then the winner is announced. This year, it was Fuelberth.

"I loved it. It's crazy because I actually went and watched the pageant every year with my mom and sister, every year since I was 6 … and that's actually what led me to compete when I was 16 when I was Miss Nebraska Teen USA. Then I decided to come back and do the older division. So I knew what to expect, but it was still surreal getting to compete," she said.

Fuelberth has been seriously preparing for the competition since June.

"In essence, I say that I've been preparing for this my whole life with my modeling and just being the best I can be in every area of my life. But I've been training physically and eating well since June and so I was just excited for the moment to finally be there," she said.

She said her favorite part of competing is having the opportunity to meet so many people.

"Pageants have been wonderful for me. I've met several of my best friends through pageants, and I think it's really neat that all these girls are so determined and big dreamers and have a heart and love for people … I think that was probably my favorite part because we have friendships that will carry on for years now."

Now that the state pageant has concluded, Fuelberth has already begun traveling as Miss Nebraska USA and preparing for the Miss USA pageant, which will take place this summer. All states will be represented at the pageant, along with the District of Columbia, and it will take place over a few weeks instead of just a weekend.

After graduating from Norfolk High School, Fuelberth focused on her modeling work, spending time on the West Coast. Now she will focus on the upcoming national pageant.

"There's a lot of training for the national Miss USA pageant, but I also want to just go around the state and speak at schools, which was my favorite thing that I got to do as Miss Nebraska Teen USA. I'd love to continue doing that as Miss Nebraska USA," she said.

Fuelberth also visits hospitals and has meet-and-greet events. She has been to such events in Norfolk and Omaha and has traveled to Texas where she has already met about 40 Miss USA participants from other states.

"I am so honored to be amongst those girls. They're incredible ... It's just going to be fun going into Miss USA because we already feel like we're friends."

The women were in Texas for an event and to begin the formal dresses online fitting process for the Miss USA competition.

"The main event that we went down for was Sherri Hill's Operation That's My Dress sponsored by the USO. We helped girls from military families pick out their dream prom dress. All of us kind of helped them out and just spoke life and encouragement to them because they have gone through so much with their families being involved in the military. So just to spend the time with them and love on them, that was our main focus for that weekend," Fuelberth said.

Sherri Hill, a designer, donated the dresses for the event and assisted the Miss USA contestants with finding their evening gown competition dresses.

In addition, Fuelberth is continuing work as a co-chairman for the Night to Shine event set for Friday, Feb. 10, in Norfolk and sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation.

"It's a prom for those with special needs. And so it's such a blast. I love it. It's the best event I've ever done. It's an annual event, and they get dinner, limo rides and a dance, photo booths, karaoke, you name it. So I'm really excited for that coming up soon," she said.

The event is the only one of its kind in Nebraska and includes kids from across the state.

"It keeps expanding and growing each year, so hopefully there will be more, but we started it last year. I met Tim in L.A., and he helped me bring it here," she said.

Fuelberth said that she is already learning and taking away so much from her experiences as Miss Nebraska USA.

"Getting to meet all of the incredible people that this state has, for me, that's what it's really about. It's not about cheap formal dresses uk and crowns, it's just about people and getting to impact them in any way that I can. So I'm just excited for that opportunity first and foremost," she said.

"I know it's just started, but it's already been an incredible journey, and I can't wait to see what happens the rest of the year."


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