- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Last year’s Miss North Dakota, Delanie Wiedrich, from Hazen, adopted an extremely personal message of anti-bullying as her platform, and her successor is keeping with that theme.

Macy Christianson, a 19-year-old junior-to-be at the University of North Dakota, who hails from Minot, is calling her platform, “You Decide the Road Ahead: Don’t Drink and Drive.”

“Several years ago my older brother made the decision to drink and drive and he suffered a traumatic brain injury,” Christianson said. “That’s why I’m so passionate about it and that’s why I want to spread the message to as many people as possible.”

Each member of Christianson’s family - even her grandparents from California - were on hand for her moment of triumph at the Miss North Dakota Pageant in Williston on June 11, except for her older brother, the eldest of six.

“It’s something he still struggles with,” Christianson told the Williston Herald (https://bit.ly/294UvJE ). “You can tell someone with a traumatic brain injury, it’s almost like their eyes are glazed over. He’s not the same person he was, but in the end, we’re thankful he’s alive.”

Over the past year, Christianson prepared for her Miss North Dakota run by making documentary films interviewing families of people who’d lost loved ones as a result of drunk driving.

Those sobering films will be part of her presentation as she travels around the state, largely in classrooms.

“I kind of do want that shock factor; I want them to be like, ‘wow, I’m never going to drink and drive,’ and that’s my goal,” she said. “The high school sessions will get the more serious, sad one, and elementary kids will get the more, ‘help your peers make good decisions’ one. So I can cater it to any age group.”

Christianson spoke to the Williston Rotary Club recently as a first step in her year as Miss North Dakota.

“Every one of those girls is Miss North Dakota - they’re all amazing, and being there is a little nerve-wracking,” she said of her reaction to winning. “All these beautiful women with amazing talents - how could I be Miss North Dakota? But I do believe that whoever gets it, they’re meant for the job.”

Christianson said she will be taking a year’s sabbatical from her studies to focus on her time with the crown before returning to complete a degree in psychology. She will compete in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in September.

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Information from: Williston Herald, https://www.willistonherald.com

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