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Haley Wolfe, right, reacts, as she's crowned Miss North Dakota 2019 by Katie Olson.

Of all the things that have been changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Haley Wolfe never expected it would mean a second year as Miss North Dakota.

It has meant exactly that, though. Wolfe, who was crowned Miss North Dakota in June 2019, competed for the Miss America title and then embarked on her year of school visits. Her social impact platform is called #BeThe1To, a suicide prevention effort.

“I did that up until schools closed in March, and I spoke to 15,000 students and traveled roughly 32,000 miles,” Wolfe said.

Since then, Wolfe hasn’t been making in-person appearances. When there is a group to talk to, she’ll have a video conference with them.

Normally, that would be the end of it. She would experience what she says other Miss North Dakotas had mentioned to her — as soon as she was comfortable in the job, it would be time to hand over the crown.

Virus intervenes

In May, Miss America announced it wouldn’t hold a competition in 2020. Instead, it would postpone this year and return in 2021. Shortly after, Miss North Dakota followed suit.

So right as she normally would have been handing off the crown to someone else, Wolfe instead had a unique opportunity — a second term as Miss North Dakota.

“I wasn’t quite ready to give it up yet, so when (the Miss North Dakota Scholarship Organization) asked me to extend into 2021 I was so excited and honored,” she said.

Wolfe is going to be splitting her time at first. She is majoring in accounting at Minnesota State University — Moorhead, and is set to graduate in December. Once she graduates, and once it’s safe to start visiting schools, she’ll start touring again.

The virtual visits have been a stop gap, but it isn’t the same and Wolfe is ready to start seeing people face-to-face.

“We’re excited to get back in person,” Wolfe said.

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