Lauren Bradford grew up in Gulf Shores skateboarding and enjoying the outdoors. The self-proclaimed tomboy never thought of entering a pageant until her freshman year at Gulf Shores High School where she was crowned Miss Gulf Shores High School 2015. On June 12 2021, she competed as Miss Jefferson County and was crowned Miss Alabama 2021.
While she competed as Miss Jefferson County, she is proud of her Coastal Alabama roots and thankful for the support she has received.
“I am so thankful for all my hometown people. Leading up to this moment they have been so supportive and I am so thankful. I know pageants aren’t a huge thing down there, so I appreciate them sticking through with me with this crazy idea I had when I was younger and now supporting me as Miss Alabama. I have an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for them and excitement to now represent Gulf Shores at Miss America,” Bradford said.
Over the years, Bradford has competed and won the titles of Miss Alabama Outstanding Teen 2017, Miss Auburn 2019 and Miss Jefferson County 2020. Along with the titles she also won over $86,000 in scholarships and the ability to graduate from Auburn University debt free.
“The scholarship aspect of the Miss America program is so much fun to talk about because many people don’t realize the incredible opportunities it presents to young woman to further their education. I was able to graduate from Auburn University debt free. Now I will be attending Vanderbilt University and was really propelled to pursue a master’s degree because of scholarships I knew I had,” Bradford said.
As Miss Alabama 2021, Bradford will spend the next year traveling the state making public appearances, speaking at events and visiting schools. She hopes to share her social impact initiative Unplugged: The Digital Diet Plan with as many people as possible across the state as well.
“Unplugged: The Digital Diet Plan is about educating people, no matter the age or generation you are from, about the harmful effects of the overuse of technology and how we can integrate technology into our lifestyle in a healthy and balanced way. Ultimately, technology is a tool that we should be using for our good and technology should not be controlling us. I would love to travel the state sharing this message,” Bradford said.
In December, Bradford will represent Alabama and showcase her violin talent at the Miss America 2022 pageant.
“It’s cool to have a gift or curate a talent to present to an audience because it’s not easy to work on it for hours a day. To be able to present that is so fun. I started playing violin at the age of six. It’s something that has always been a passion of mine and it was really cool to be able to show that on the Miss Alabama stage,” Bradford said.
After her reign, Bradford said she is looking forward to pursuing her master’s of science in finance at Vanderbilt University. Her end goal is to pursue a career in consulting in strategy and management.
“I think the field is so interesting. You get to work across industries and help clients make their businesses run smoother and to develop relationships with businesses and clients again across industries. That is something I think matches well with my personality and things I am interested in. To enter that field is something I am going to be working hard for over the next five years and to do it well,” Bradford said.