While Annika Wooton may be most well known for her historic two-year reign throughout the pandemic as Miss Kansas 2019 and 2020, she is also a speed painter, motivational speaker, pageant consultant, and life coach.
Annika represented Kansas at the 2020 Miss America Competition earning a Top 15 placement at the competition in addition to a non-finalist talent award for her 90-second speed painting performance of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
She now resides in Wichita and works with Lead for America - a non-profit working to build the next generation of civic leaders by connecting dynamic and diverse leaders to work on our communities’ toughest challenges.
Additionally, she now works alongside her own pageant mentor, Juven Nava, as a lead consultant with their business, Crown the Nation, helping young women achieve their goals in pageants and beyond through individually customized coaching plans.
And finally - most recently, Annika launched her own arm of the pageant consulting business - Beyond the Crown - a coaching program that helps competitors find purpose beyond just winning the crown, whether they are still working towards that goal, on the other side of it, or if they've closed that chapter never quite having achieved what they wanted.
On June 8th, 2019, Annika Wooton, of Overland Park, Kansas, graduate of the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Arts in Illustration, was crowned Miss Kansas 2019. As a result of COVID-19, the Miss America Organization chose to postpone the national competition in which Annika served for an unprecedented 2-year term.
Annika represented Kansas at the 2020 Miss America Competition which was broadcast live on NBC from Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, on Thursday, December 19, 2019.
Annika earned a Top 15 placement at the competition in addition to a non-finalist talent award for her 90-second speed painting performance of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was also recognized as the winner of the Jean Bartel Social Impact Initiative Scholarship which acknowledges her exceptional work in arts advocacy and with the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. At the culmination of the competition, Annika earned an additional $13,000 in cash scholarship at Miss America 2020.
In addition to her work in the community, Annika is both artistically and musically talented. She has traveled the country exhibiting her live painting with numerous organizations and events. Her travels have taken her across the state of Kansas, to Missouri, Florida, Virginia, and New Mexico. Her work has been featured locally in the University Daily Kansan and the Lawrence Journal World publications, as well as nationally featured in New York Magazine and Mic.com.
"Kansas has my heart. I was born here, and once I made my way back and sat still long enough to take stock of what I was surrounded by...
I saw beauty in every area of our state, a community that has supported me at every turn, and opportunity for a bright, bright future."