Tara Dawn Holland
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|Tara Dawn Holland|
October 2, 1972 |
Overland Park, Kansas, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Missouri–Kansas City
Florida State University
|Occupation||Literacy Advocate and musician|
|Title||Miss Flint Hills 1996
Miss Kansas 1996
Miss America 1997
|Spouse(s)||Jon Lynn Christensen (m. 1998–present)|
Holland was born in Overland Park, Kansas. After six years as a local literacy advocate and tutor, she took her cause to the national spotlight when she was crowned Miss America 1997. She spent the year fighting for literacy education for people of all ages and backgrounds, as well as raising funds and motivating those involved in the cause. Since her year of service, she has continued to speak for local, state, and national organizations on this critical issue.
In addition to traveling as a speaker, Holland has enjoyed many opportunities to perform musically. She has been featured as a vocal soloist with the Kansas City Symphony, the U.S. Air Force Band, and the NATO Band in Italy. She was also a featured vocalist in the nationally televised Boston Pops Fourth of July Celebration and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. In addition, she had the honor of singing for two of President George W. Bush's inaugural events, including the Armory Ball, the largest official Inaugural Ball.
Holland has appeared in various media outlets, including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, Today, Fox News Sunday with Tony Snow, Parade, People, and Focus on the Family radio show, among others. In addition to commercials, public service announcements, and her cameo role on The Nanny, some of her other highlights are the 1997 Kansan of the Year, President Bush’s Daily Point of Light #723, and the 1997 Kansas Woman of Achievement.
Today, Holland is very active with youth, both in her local community and as a national sexual abstinence speaker to tens of thousands of students per year. She also sings and speaks for women’s groups, fundraisers, and churches. In December 2002, Holland graduated summa cum laude with her master’s degree in music education from the University of Missouri–Kansas City. Holland and her husband, former U.S. Congressman Jon Lynn Christensen, make their home in Franklin, Tennessee; they have two daughters, Petra and Sela.
The video of her receiving her crown was shown at the beginning of the 2006 film, Little Miss Sunshine.
|Awards and achievements|