Miss Louisiana 2017 talks about being crowned, her upcoming year - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Miss Louisiana 2017 talks about being crowned, her upcoming year

(Source: Laryssa Bonacquisti/Facebook) (Source: Laryssa Bonacquisti/Facebook)

In her first television interview as Miss Louisiana 2017, Laryssa Bonacquisti, spent Thursday morning with KSLA News 12.

She was crowned on Saturday, June 24 in the Miss Louisiana Pageant held in Monroe. Her next step is to represent Louisiana in the Miss America pageant in September. 

"It was so amazing to know that I could be in that top three of those young women," Bonacquisti said. "I've been working towards this for a long time. It's been a dream of mine since I was a child."

Bonacquisti is following closely in her mother's footsteps who was crowned Miss Jersey 1990. She is also the reigning Miss Shreveport.

"I grew up knowing about the Miss America Organization," she said. "So it's amazing to have this dream come true; to have this job of a lifetime and compete for Miss America — it's beyond words. There's no words to describe it." 

She is a senior studying mass communication/broadcast journalism at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, with a minor in political science and geography. She aspires to obtain a law degree and one day work as a journalist. 

However, between now and then, Bonacquisti will spend the next year serving as an ambassador for the Pelican State in a number of roles including the official hostess for the State of Louisiana and spokesperson for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a KSLA News 12 partner.

"Truthfully, I'm not quite sure what's going to happen," Bonacquisti said in the upcoming year as Miss Louisiana. "I have someone that's handling my scheduling so I'll look and see what's going on today or that week. Today I had this interview and after that, I'm visiting two hospitals."

Bonacquisti's platform is Team Charlotte- Fighting Pancreatic Cancer. Her grandmother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about a year ago and passed away in March. Her goal is to advocate for more awareness for pancreatic cancer.

"Whenever I found out that she had cancer over a year ago — I didn't know what it was," Bonacquisti said. "The fact that we have a cancer out there that we don't have a treatment or a diagnostic technique for it, and there is no pre-screening to figure out the likelihood about who has pancreatic cancer. This entire year is going to be spent in honor of my grandmother's fight."

What many of you may not know is she's a skilled in ventriloquism and uses several puppets to speak to children's groups.

"When I grew up, I was unique, I was a little different," She said. "I did a little talent, ventriloquism. But when I found that talent, nothing could stop me from reaching for my goals. Find your gift. Find your talent."

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