National Miss Pennsylvania 2013 partners with the American Red Cross

September 3, 2013

Karissa Grossman, Johnstown, Pa., is also a full-time member of the Pennsylvania National Guard, part-time student and Red Cross blood donor

Most 20-year-olds don’t have military fatigues, fancy sequined dresses, a crown and winner’s sash hanging in their clothes closet.

Then again Karissa Grossman of Johnstown, Pa., isn’t your typical young woman. A 2011 graduate of Greater Johnstown High School, Karissa joined the military after high school and currently serves as a private first class in the local Pennsylvania National Guard’s 28th Infantry Aviation Unit.

She’s also the reigning 2013 National Miss Pennsylvania and placed 2nd runner up at this year’s National Miss Pageants, held in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she received the organization’s  top honors in her division for the Fitness & Glamour Wear Competitions.  She also received the prestigious Media Award, in recognition of her community service hours. This is a very appropriate recognition for Karissa, who is also taking courses in communication and broadcasting online through the University of Phoenix.

Last, but not least, she is an American Red Cross blood donor. Karissa donated blood for the first time at her high school’s Red Cross blood drive when she turned 16.

“I try to donate blood twice a year, every six months,” she commented. “Being a member of the military, I believe it’s important to donate blood. I have friends whose family members have needed blood transfusions. And I actually enjoy donating blood!”

Karissa’s platform as 2013 National Miss Pennsylvania is “STOMP OUT BULLYING”; however, she’s also partnering with the Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region on several youth initiatives, including a project to gain more Twitter followers and its annual Lifesaver’s Ball, a multi-site blood drive held in early January.

She explained that she participated in her first pageant in the ninth grade. “I was a very shy individual and got involved to help build my confidence.”

And now the full-time military technician, in charge of her unit’s hazardous materials, has her sights set on attending flight school and learning to fly Black Hawk helicopters.

“Hard work is paying off for me, and I’m so glad to have the chance to work closely with the American Red Cross,” Karissa said. “It should be a fun path, and I can’t wait!”

For more information about the National Miss Pageants, please contact the National Director, Siouxzan Moore, at 302.357.8814 or  You can also check out their website and facebook page at: /