Miss Wisconsin 2021 – Jennifer Schmidt

Jennifer Schmidt’s imperfect journey to becoming Miss Wisconsin began when her dance teacher, who was Miss Racine in 1963, encouraged her and a few other dancers to compete in the Miss Racine’s Outstanding Teen competition because “they had a talent.” She went on to hold the titles of Miss Racine’s Outstanding Teen 2012, Miss Southern Lakes’ Outstanding Teen 2013, Miss Racine 2018, Miss Badgerland 2019, Miss Rock River Valley 2020/2021, and finally Miss Wisconsin 2021. For more than ten years Jennifer continued to compete, not simply because she had a talent, but because she wanted to continue to challenge and better herself. One of the ways in which she chose to do so was through her social impact initiative “Diabetes, YOU Have the Control.”  Jennifer began volunteering with the American Diabetes Association (ADA)-Wisconsin and did so for eight years. As a first-generation college graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jennifer began her professional career in nonprofit when the ADA offered her a full-time position as their Manager of Donor Relations. In May of 2020, the ADA permanently closed their Wisconsin office due to the pandemic and lack of funding. Jennifer reevaluated and reaffirmed her decision to compete for Miss Wisconsin realizing that, while she lost her job, Wisconsin lost a valuable resource. Now serving as Miss Wisconsin 2021, Jennifer continues to use her social influence to bring statewide exposure to her initiative, grow in her nonprofit career, and give back to the organization that single-handedly allowed her to begin college, pay off $18,750 of her student loans, inspired her career, and shaped the woman she is today.