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Muskegon — The winner of the Miss Michigan pageant plans to use her new title to help her continue to advocate for youth participation in the arts.

Heather Kendrick was awarded the 2017 crown Saturday night in Muskegon. The 23-year-old University of Michigan graduate is a native of Marysville, near Port Huron, and came to the pageant after being named Miss Washtenaw County.

Kendrick tells The Muskegon Chronicle that the arts “help our children with skills like creative thinking and critical thinking.” She performed a rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” on the violin for the competition.

Kendrick’s career goals include becoming the CEO of a performing arts organization. She gets $12,000 in scholarship money and will have an opportunity to take part in the Miss America pageant in September.

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