Maya Schuhknecht is our new Miss Michigan. Schuhknecht is a survivor of the mass shooting at Michigan State University and an artist.
During the competition, Schuhknecht showed the audience her work as a speed painter. It’s not just for fun, either. During the event, she said that doing art has helped her deal with difficult things in life. Her mom had breast cancer when she was 13. As a students at MSU, she survived the mass shooting. A few weeks later, she lost her dad unexpectedly.
“Life just keeps throwing waves at you and you don’t know what’s going to come, but that’s just the cards you were given,” Schuhknect said. “Through that hard time, I have been using the arts and as Miss Michigan, I’m really excited to tell people that story and say, ‘Look at me. I’m successful. I still see all these great things in life despite all these bad things that have happened to me, and I’m actively using the arts to feel better each and every day.'”
She added that she hopes her story will inspire others. She’ll represent Michigan in the next Miss America contest. Details on the Miss America 2024 show are pending.