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Katherine Sharp smiles alongside 2019 Miss California Eileen Kim at the Miss California Competition last week. 

2019 Miss Calaveras Katherine Sharp came in fifth place at the 2021 Miss California Competition on June 25 in Fresno, earning a spot in the Miss California court as fourth runner-up.

Sharp, 20, competed on a platform of disability inclusion in social spaces. She told the Enterprise on Monday that she never thought she would become a finalist in the Miss California Competition, beating out 27 other contestants from across the state to garner the title and a $2,500 scholarship.

“They were really welcoming and really fun people to spend time with,” Sharp said. “I learned a lot and saw what an opportunity there is to make a change for something you're passionate about.”

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Sharp holds a trophy after winning the Red Carpet segment of the Miss California Competition.  

Sharp also won the Red Carpet segment of the competition, where judges score the women on their composure and confidence onstage. She also participated in the filming of a documentary, “The Making of Miss California: The Road to the Crown,” which premieres July 10 at 8 p.m. on CBS47.

Grateful for the supporters who helped her on the road to the competition, Sharp raised more than her $3,000 goal on a GoFundMe page to fund her Miss California expenses. She has pledged to donate the remaining amount to various disability organizations.

After getting a taste of what it takes to become Miss California, Sharp says she might return to the stage after taking a year off to focus on her studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“They seemed to want me to come back,” she said. “They may not have seen the last of me yet. Even if I don’t compete, I would want to stay involved in some way with the organization. … I definitely think they’re moving in the right direction… moving forward as far as representation and diversity. Candidates who win have a very well-rounded understanding of our world and what is going on.”

This year’s queen is Miss Los Angeles County Jazmin Avalos, who will represent California in the Miss America Competition. Avalos told yourcentralvalley.com that it was her sixth time competing for the title.

Sharp was the first woman to officially compete as Miss Calaveras at the Miss California Competition. She was also the first to win both titles of Miss Calaveras in 2019 and Calaveras Saddle Queen in 2018. Retaining her title during the 2020 pandemic, Sharp is the longest-running Miss Calaveras to ever serve.

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Dakota graduated from Bret Harte in 2013 and went to Davidson College, NC where she earned a bachelor's degree in Arab studies. After spending time studying in the Middle East and Europe, she is happy to be home, writing about the community she loves.

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