FARGO - The Fargo woman who currently holds the title Miss World America is switching coasts and looking for new challenges.
Audra Mari, a 2012 graduate of Davies High School, won the title of Miss World America in July. The 23-year-old recently competed at the Miss World pageant where she earned a sixth-place finish.
Because she finished higher than other representatives from this part of the world, she was awarded the title "Miss World Americas."
"The new title means when Miss World travels to any of the Americas, I can accompany her," she says. "It's a fun way for me to be involved."
Travel has become common place for Mari during the first half of her reign.
"The first four months, especially, I traveled non-stop," she says. "I lived out of a suitcase and did a lot of work as Miss World America for organizations like Habitat for Humanity and the Starkey Hearing Foundation."
Mari says she's fallen in love with the Miss World Organization because it emphasizes more than just beauty and entertainment, asking contestants to compete in five categories: top model, sports, talent, beauty with a purpose (which is based on the contestant's philanthropic work) and multimedia (which judges contestants on social media use).
Later, contestants go through a rigorous interview process.
"Miss World goes back to 1951. It's really the Olympics of pageantry, but it's not as popular in the U.S. because the organization is based in London," Mari says. "If I had won Miss World I would have loved to been able to spread the word about it."
Now that the Miss World pageant is over, Mari splits her time between titleholder appearances and modeling work in Miami. During her time in Florida she's done mostly print modeling, but recently had an opportunity to do some television hosting work on the Welcome Channel.
"It was so exciting," Mari says. "I came home every night loving what I did and looking forward to the next day."
The new passion for television work is behind Mari's decision to move from Miami to Los Angeles in February.
"It's kind of exciting and scary at the same time," she says. "I moved to Miami when I was 20 and didn't know a soul. Now I'm 23 and going to L.A. But it's something I really want to pursue."
She'll give up her Miss World Americas title this summer, then she'll concentrate on her next adventure where her past experience playing hockey in Fargo might just come in handy.
"I think it might be kind of fun to be the Erin Andrews of the NHL," she says.
If you'd like to learn more about Mari, check out the video she made in downtown Fargo at missworldamerica.com.