Miss New Jersey Kaitlyn Schoeffel accepts a gift Artists Alike Studio made for the Egg Harbor Township school board. The image of the state is a mosaic of photos from her pageants.

LAURA STETSER / Staff Writer

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Newly crowned Miss New Jersey Kaitlyn Schoeffel, who will compete for the Miss America title in September, stopped by her alma mater last week.

Schoeffel, 24, won the state competition June 17. The 2011 Egg Harbor Township High School graduate said she is proud to be a product of the district.

“It’s so nice to be able to return and to be so warmly embraced by your stomping grounds, your hometown,” she said Tuesday. “My team has been the community.

“The support I have received from this community has been so overwhelming, from the teachers to the students,” she said.

She received a bag of Egg Harbor Township High School apparel and a framed congratulations poster comprising a mosaic of photos of Schoeffel’s competitions.

Her contest platform, Operation Empowerment, seeks to expose disadvantaged children to the arts. She hopes to raise money for scholarships so kids can take dance, voice and acting lessons to perform in the community.

She said also hopes to raise money to take the children to see live theater shows.

The Miss America pageant will be held at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City Sept. 6-10. It will also be televised.

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