New Miss America Cara Mund, Bismarck native, reacts

It's been a whirlwind few days for new Miss America Cara Mund. But she was able to take some time to talk with NBC North Dakota News about her experience.

Miss America 2018 Cara Mund from North Dakota, Photo Date: 9/10/17

On a stage in Williston just three months ago, Bismarck Native Cara Mund's life changed forever when she became Miss North Dakota. On Sunday, her life changed drastically again.

"I never expected this to ever happen," Mund said. "I'm so grateful and I just waiting for someone to wake me up and say it didn't actually happen. The dream finally became a reality."

As a field of 51 women were whittled down to just one, it almost didn't seem real.

"It just felt like I was just watching a dream. It didn't even feel like I was there. It was just an out-of-body experience that forever I'll remember that moment," said Mund.

She is now the first Miss North Dakota to become Miss America in the 97 year history of the program.

"We only had three women ever make it to the top-10 before, so that was one of my goals, to put North Dakota on the map. And so when I was standing there, I knew that I had done that," Mund said.

She hopes her success will serve as an example for future generations to aspire to achieve.

"I just want all those little girls out there to know that I proved that it doesn't matter where you come from or the number of people who say you can't do it. If you work hard and are dedicated to it, anything can happen," said Mund.

It will be a whirlwind for Mund until she's able to come back to her home state.

"I'll be back in North Dakota in a few months for my homecoming, so I look forward to seeing everyone there and showing them the crown and the sash and the stories I have," Mund said.

Until then, it's stops in cities all over the country for the new Miss America. For NBC North Dakota News, I'm Nick Amatangelo.

Mund was in New York this morning and is expected to be in Los Angeles later this week.