Kara McCullough, a 25-year-old chemist working for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was named Miss USA Sunday night in Las Vegas.
McCullough is the second Miss District of Columbia to win the title in two years; last year's winner, Deshauna Barber, was the first military member to become Miss USA. McCullough was born in Naples, Italy, and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She was asked if she thinks affordable health care is a right or a privilege for U.S. citizens, and McCullough said it's a privilege. "As a government employee, I'm granted health care and I see firsthand that for one to have health care, you need to have jobs," she said.
Miss New Jersey Chhavi Verg, a student at Rutgers University, was runner-up; Verg immigrated to the U.S. from India when she was 4 years old, and her parents arrived with just $500. "I want to show Americans that the definition of what it means to be American is changing," she said. "It's not just one face. There are many different people who are Americans, and I feel like Asian-Americans often times are left out of the conversation." Miss Minnesota Meridith Gould, a student at the University of Minnesota, was second runner-up. Now, McCullough will compete for the Miss Universe title.