So, let's see what happens when Lauren Bradford visits Section 36!
How did you celebrate winning the Miss Alabama crown?
I celebrated by thanking Jesus. This has been something that the Father has put on my heart for so long now, and for it to be a reality is 100% and unequivocally from Him.
As a former Miss Alabama’s Outstanding teem, do you think that national experience will help you at Miss America?
I actually never got a “national experience” as a former teen titleholder. I was 1st Runner-Up to Jessica Baeder, Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen 2017 who went on to win Miss America’s Outstanding Teen. Because of this (go Jess!) I was afforded the opportunity to step into the role of Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen. That time, though less than a year, was incredibly transformative and made me realize that I wanted to be Miss Alabama one day. I do believe that experience gave me a better understanding of what it means to be a titleholder and how to truly make a tangible impact.
What did you learn about yourself at the Miss Alabama competition that will help you at Miss America?
The biggest thing I learned during Miss Alabama week isto never doubt God’s plan for your life. As soon as I would begin to doubt, God provided affirmation in amazing and tangible ways. He has a plan.
How did you select your social impact initiative, “UNPLUG - The Digital Diet Plan”?
I began work with my Social Impact Initiative “UNPLUG: The Digital Diet Plan” when I was only 15. Growing up, it was a rule in my household that we (I’m 1 of 3 siblings) were not allowed to have a phone until we were going into high school. I spent a lot of time seeing how my peers began to overuse technology and what it was doing to their grades, communication abilities, and mental wellbeing. I wanted to spread the message about how we can use technology as a tool and integrate it into lifestyles in a healthy and balanced way. I believe connection with others is one of the most important qualities we can ever experience in this lifetime, and began to spread this message ultimately in an effort to help all ages seek and find true connection.
As a talented violinist, what do you enjoy most about performing on stage?
I love sharing violin on stage because I love sharing the heart behind music. Growing up, I played violin at nursing homes for residents that had lost their memory — but they remembered every word of songs that meant so much to them in their pasts. Because of so many experiences like this, I am a firm believer that music can connect us when words cannot.
You’ve been able to do quite a bit of traveling. What is your favorite place you’ve visited?
A very special moment during my travels so far was returning to my hometown of Gulf Shores and being recognized there. I have loved growing up on the beach, and am the very first Miss Alabama from my town and my area. It has been such an honor to represent my hometown and state now on a national stage. It also meant a lot to me to travel to Montgomery and spend time with the Governor of Alabama, and discuss our shared experiences of both of our college education at Auburn University and both of our membership in the Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority as sisters.
If you could be a Disney Character for a week, who would you choose? Why?
I would hands down be Princess Jasmine because she has apet tiger (goals) and a flying carpet (goals).
If you had an extra ticket to see the Birmingham Barons play the Rocket City Trash Pandas, who would you take with you? Why?
I was Miss Jefferson County for almost 2 years before becoming Miss Alabama, and I would most definitely take one of my local directors Jarrod Landers because I have never met someone more invested in and obsessed with baseball.
Is there a feature or activity at a baseball game that you’d especially like to experience?
I may not be very good at it, but I’ve always wanted to throw the first pitch for a baseball game. And of course, always the snacks ;)
As always, I want to thank Lauren for visiting with us, and for sending along the pictures to go with the interview.
As Lauren continues her time as Miss Alabama, I encourage you to follow her title's Instagram and Facebook accounts. You should also check out the official Miss Alabama website. They're great ways to keep track of everything she has going on! You should also be sure to check out the UNPLUG website to find more resources about the impacts of the overuse of technology.
I also want to wish her the best of luck when she competes for the Miss America crown this winter. It would be fantastic to have another Section 36 visitor wear that crown!