Emily Mahana, the current Miss Upstate New York, is putting the emphasis on education.

Mahana is from Cicero, and is a senior at Syracuse University, studying civil and environmental engineering.

She had never competed in pageants.

In fact, she was busy studying for finals, and didn't even know about the Upstate New York pageant until just three weeks before the competition.

She ended up winning, but for her, school comes first. So it's no surprise her platform is to be an advocate for young women in STEM fields like herself.

"I feel like growing up, I didn't really have a mentor or role model to look to that was a woman in this field. And I think that maybe if I had had that, I would've known sooner that engineering and math were for me," Mahana said.

She is now preparing for the Miss New York this June in Buffalo.