National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Date Posted: January 18, 2012

Miss Ohio, Ellen Bryan, competed in the January 14 Miss America pageant and although she did not win the ultimate title, Ellen’s platform on lightning safety garnered plenty of positive attention. 

Ellen’s platform placed among eight finalists for the Quality of Life scholarship, which is based on contestant essays focused on her commitment and work with her personal platform. 

Ellen and the NWS are making progress in improving lightning safety. In 2011, despite an extremely active severe weather year, the nation experienced a record low number of lightning fatalities — with a total of 26. 

Ellen, and her sister, Christina, who was struck by lightning in 2000, have helped the National Weather Service save lives by participating in Public Service Announcements and by speaking about lightning safety. This message is a big part of NOAA’s efforts to build a Weather-Ready Nation.

Ellen clearly has no regrets about having participated in the Miss America pageant. In her blog entry for January 16, Bryan said, “I’m certain that this experience will be one I talk about for the rest of my life!”