Tonight, Miss America Contestant Turns Up The Heat While Turning It Down

If, like me, your eyes tend to roll when pageant contestants talk about their (ahem) "issues" Miss America contestant Allison Rogers should grab your attention tonight--and not just because of her unfairly good looks. As hot as she is, the 25-year-old Miss Rhode Island is hoping to slow the warming of the earth with her "Go Green!" platform, and she's got the credentials to prove it. After graduating from Harvard in 2004 (her thesis was on the convergence of religion and conservation), Alli became a driving force behind the university's environmental revolution. As head of a landmark program that conducted energy and waste audits and encouraged recycling and conservation in the dorms, she added a healthy shade of green to the ivory tower. And while helping to shape the school's sustainability principles, Alli led a student campaign that made Harvard the biggest university purchaser of renewable energy. Along the way, she co-organized the Northeast Climate Conference, earned a WWF fellowship to refurbish old computers for those in need, served as a youth delegate at the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, met with green fashion designers, lobbied the US Postal Service (on a global warming fundraising stamp) and been personally tutored by Al Gore (when we worked together at school, she was my eco hero). Yesterday, she won the Miss America community service award for the awareness work she's done and will do. Whatever happens tonight--and whatever you may think of pageants--Alli's already a role model for little girls (and boys) everywhere.

Watch tonight: 8 PM EST on CMT (its hosted by Mario Lopez!)

: : Providence Journal; :: Video Interview with Allison Rogers (pop-up) : : Alli's blog.