Auburn and Miss Alabama student Lauren Bradford was named the first finalist for Miss America 2022 on Thursday night. Bradford received a $ 25,000 scholarship to place the first finalist and won other scholarships as part of the competition.
As the Miss America pageant celebrated its 100th anniversary, the 51 nominees represented all 50 states and the District of Columbia live, as it was broadcast live from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.
Bradford, 21, was behind Miss Alaska Emma Broyles, who was named Miss America 2022. Broyles left the pageant with a new job, a gold crown, and a $ 100,000 scholarship.
The competition week began on Sunday 12 December, with the first night of the preliminary competition followed by the second night of the preliminary competition on Monday 13 December.
With three Alabama women who had won the Miss America title in the past, Bradford said in an interview with AL.com that she was ready to take on the role and become the fourth Alabama to win the title.
According to the article on AL.com written by Mary Colurso, before the competition took place, Bradford said she was “honored and humble to represent the state of Alabama.”
“I’m a little biased, but I think we have the best state in the nation,” Bradford said in the article.
During Bradford’s last six months as Miss Alabama, she has made many public appearances, interacted with community groups, and been an inspiration to young people across the country.
Bradford brought his musical talent to the competition. She has been playing the violin since she was six years old and decided to learn a whole new piece to perform in the Miss America pageant.
Bradford performed a violin solo from Symphony No. 5 by Beethoven on Dec. 12 at a Miss America talent show.
Bradford is an advocate for UNPLUG: The Digital Diet Plan. Bradford created UNPLUG as a student at Auburn University to educate society about the harmful effects of overuse of technology and to provide strategies for using technology in a balanced and healthy way.
After graduating from Auburn with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance in the spring of 2021, Bradford has suspended her studies while retaining her Miss Alabama title. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in finance at Vanderbilt University in the fall of 2022. According to the AL.com article, she finally hopes to work as a management and strategy consultant for an international consulting firm.
Bradford received first place for the Jean Bartel Social Impact Initiative Scholarship as part of the competition with a $ 10,000 scholarship. He also received first place for the Dakota State University STEM Beacom College Fellowship with a $ 5,000 scholarship. In addition, Bradford was one of the top candidates for Miss America fundraising, and received the first finalist and a $ 2,500 scholarship to raise $ 24,327.
The Miss America organization awarded a total of $ 435,500 to several contestants.