A day after winning Miss Florida, Jaclyn Raulerson said she's proud of the honor and excited to represent her home state in Miss America.
Raulerson of Plant City won the honor Saturday night in the pageant competition held at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. Forty-six women from throughout the state competed. Raulerson will now go on to compete in the Miss America Pageant.
"I've been working at this for so long," Raulerson said. "I knew that I was ready for it. I am so thrilled that it worked out."
Raulerson, who was Miss Largo, is no stranger to pageant glory; she was a runner-up in the 2008 Florida Strawberry Festival pageant. She was a member of the court of 2008 Strawberry Queen Kristen Smith.
"Miss America is going to be a very intense preparation," Raulerson said. "I'm ready for it. I've been preparing and mentally preparing for this job my whole life.
"I knew since I was a little girl that I wanted to be Miss Florida and eventually Miss America," she said.
Raulerson, the daughter of Shirley and Dan Raulerson, who is Plant City mayor, is a student at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. She graduated in 2008 from Durant High.
"I'm a ninth generation Floridian, so this means the world to me," Raulerson said. "I'm such a Florida girl, and I love my home state. I'm going to make you all proud."