Episode 223: Pageants, Prison, Modesty and Christianity with Miss Utah Sarah Sun

Sarah Sun is Utah's brand new Miss Utah who will represent them in the Miss America competition this upcoming year. She's from Cedar City, Utah, and is a junior at Brigham Young University majoring in music and political science. Previously, she served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints in Southern California, and studied applied economics and management at Cornell University. She's also an accomplished concert pianist and has soloed with professional symphonies including the Utah Symphony and performed across the US and China and as a piano soloist at Carnegie Hall.

Sarah was crowned Miss Utah 2023 on June 10, 2023 in Salt Lake City. She received over ten thousand dollars in scholarships, and will spend the upcoming year serving the state and preparing for the Miss America competition. Sarah has a goal to introduce arts education into the Utah State Correctional Facility and assist formerly incarcerated individuals with their transition back to society, and we got to talk all about this initiative and some of the ways she suggests people get involved in breaking down the stigma of incarcerated individuals and helping them have a better future after prison. We also get to talk about her conversion story to the Church of Jesus Christ as the first member in her family with immigrant parents who came from China and their introduction there to Christianity. We talk about her experience in the Miss Utah pageant and why it was so important to her to choose a dress that fit her modesty standards and how she was the very first and only Miss Utah to ever win both the Spirit of Miss Utah (miss congeniality) AND the Miss Utah crown the same year. Sarah is one incredibly remarkable girl and I cannot wait for you to get to know her.


Time Stamps:

[01:51] – Sarah Sun talks about growing up with music and coming from a musical family.

[04:58] – What inspired Sarah to compete in the Miss Utah pageant?

[11:40] – Sarah aims to change misconceptions around the criminal justice system. What can everyone do to help create change?

[19:45] – Sarah shares her perspective on “modesty” and her approach in the Miss Utah competition.

[23:22] – What impact did Sarah want to have in the Miss Utah competition?

[27:51] – What are Sarah’s plans for Miss America?

[33:27] – “I was constantly searching for truth and light anywhere that I could find it.”

[43:47] – Sarah encourages you to know who you are and what you stand for.


Supporting Resources:

Equal Justice Initiative

Sarah's Instagram

Miss America Utah Instagram

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