Miss Michigan spends year promoting arts education

In this Wednesday, June 13, 2018, photo, Miss Michigan 2017 Heather Kendrick talks with Miss Michigan's princesses before the final night of the Miss Michigan's Outstanding Teen competition at the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts in Muskegon, Mich. Miss Michigan is ready to pass on the crown after spending a year championing for arts education at schools across the state. (Mike Krebs /Muskegon Chronicle via AP)

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — Miss Michigan is ready to pass on the crown after spending a year promoting arts education at schools throughout the state.
Heather Kendrick, 24, will relinquish the title Saturday when she crowns Miss Michigan 2018, the Muskegon Chronicle reported . Kendrick said her year in the role has been “so rewarding.”
“To be a representative and a spokesperson for a state I love so much and to have that be my job has been wonderful,” she said. “I don’t want to let that go, but I’m so excited for the next Miss Michigan to have that experience.”
Kendrick was crowned Miss Michigan in Muskegon on June 17, 2017. She spent the year advocating for a cause close to her heart, “Keeping the Arts in Education: Advocating STEAM.” STEAM is an educational framework that stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
As Miss Michigan, Kendrick also climbed to the top of the Mackinac Bridge, rode in the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade, stood at the starting line for a dog sled race in Marquette, interacted with nearly 10,000 students and competed in the Miss America pageant.
“I’ve just been able to meet so many people across our state from so many different walks of life,” she said. “I’ve been able to see how diverse Michigan is and how beautiful it is and how great the people are.”
Kendrick kept her full-time job as the director of an arts program at the University of Michigan while she served as Miss Michigan, an untraditional move for a state titleholder. She’s looking forward to holding only one job, she said.
“I’ve lived out my year the best that I could,” Kendrick said. “This will always be a huge part of my story.”