Miss Pocatello Nina Forest Crowned Miss Idaho

by Michael Strickland

“Congratulations to our new Miss Idaho 2018, Nina Forest!” reads the Miss Idaho Facebook page. “She will represent Idaho on the Miss America stage in Atlantic City on September 9th. Make sure to keep up with her exciting year!”  Forest, who was Miss Pocatello, received her crown last night at the Nampa Civic Center.

Her platform is Leave Childhood Hunger Behind and as Miss Idaho Forest will focus on decreasing food insecurity in the Gem State.

The Miss Idaho Scholarship Program is a preliminary competition of the Miss America Organization, one of the nation’s leading scholarship  and achievement programs for young women. Forest received thousands of dollars in scholarship money and other prizes. These included an award for the talent portion, in which she played an expressive self-arranged piano solo of Rhapsody Brillante by Melody Bober.

After being a classical violinist most of my life, I started playing piano six years ago in high school and discovered what it truly meant to love music. While I haven’t had the years of experience most pianists have had, I am completely humbled to have won preliminary talent at #MissIdaho2018. The place you start does not determine how far you can go. With passion, hard work, and perseverance anything is possible.  – Nina Forest

A self-described adrenaline junkie, she muses: “I love roller coasters, heights … and I’ve been skydiving. One of the reasons that I love living in Idaho is that our backyard is just one big adventure.” Forest is also a first generation American. “My mom immigrated to the United States from China and my dad was born in England,” she said.

Since 1950, this state-level program has provided all its participants with educational assistance. The mission of the Miss Idaho Organization is to create a foundation of self-esteem and empowerment for the young women who participate. Participants develop interview skills and build self-confidence that lasts a lifetime and prepares them for future challenges and pursuits.


Miss Idaho participants have achieved success in diverse fields including education, medicine, law, business, theater, politics, and broadcast journalism. Contestants work for causes represented by their personally chosen platforms which have included cancer research, organ donation, suicide prevention, child enrichment and mentoring programs, senior citizen advocacy, arts, culture and public safety.

The program has a deep well of community sponsors, parents, and volunteers who offer unwavering support of this organization that dignifies and empowers women. Read more at http://www.missidaho.org.

Top 5 finalists pictured below:
4th runner up – Kaitlin Hae Hae
3rd runner up – Miso Jang
2nd runner up – Marissa Lynne Goodwin
1st runner up – Hannah Menzner
Miss Idaho 2018 – Nina Forest