Michigan native model Kate Upton says she’s thrilled to be on the front of this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

The 19-year-old from St. Joseph is also the niece of Michigan U.S. Congressman Fred Upton.  She told NBC’s “Today Show” that she stands out because she’s more than a model.

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“I just think that people want more. You know, we have new technology, so people want to see personalities, not just someone walking down a runway or just a face,” Upton said.

What’s next for Upton?

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“Honestly, being on the cover was my dream, so I just wanna live in this moment. And I know it’s a career boost, but I’m just gonna ride it out, see where it takes me.”

Upton made her Swimsuit Issue debut in last year’s magazine and has also landed some minor film roles over the past year.

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97.1 The Ticket caught up with Upton at the Super Bowl, earlier this month. – Check out the video