|MISS AMERICA PAGEANT|
Brooke Elizabeth McLaurin
MISS NORTH CAROLINA
On June 13, 1981, in Fayetteville, N.C., a bouquet of flowers arrived in the maternity ward of Cape Fear Valley Hospital.
The card read "Future Miss America." Those flowers were for me, Brooke Elizabeth McLaurin, on the day of my birth from my
very optimistic grandmother.
Album: Fireflies, Faith Hill
Q: Who is the most influential person in your life? A: My grandmother has influenced me the most with her strength, admirable character and her determination to never give up. Q: What is one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? A: Generally when people meet me they see a woman who is well groomed and appropriately dressed, but if they happen to catch me on a day off, they just might be surprised to find me in a baseball cap, coveralls, riding four wheelers or even going hunting with my dad. Q: What is your hometown like? A: My hometown reminds me of the Andy Griffith Show. When you pass through, you feel immediately at home. While driving down the road, you meet an oncoming car and see them throw up a hand in a quick hello wave and give a friendly smile. Generally, everyone takes time to know your name and genuinely cares about your well being. We also work as a big family, and everyone is quick to lend a hand. You will always hear a nice slow thank you, please or yes ma'am, typical of our Southern heritage. Q: What makes your state so special? A: North Carolina is full of diversity. Trom our coastal shores to our majestic mountains, our state has so much to discover. Our state is full of heroes, being a host to several military bases including two of the largest: Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base. North Carolina is truly one of the most military friendly states in this country and has become a melting pot, in a sense, with all of the culture and ethnic backgrounds that exist here. Home of the legendary Andy Griffith, Catfish Hunter, Michael Jordan and ACC champions, the UNC Tar Heels, and so much more! Q: What was one defining moment in your life? A: March 7, 2003, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Q: If you are named Miss America, what do you want to accomplish during the next 12 months? A: I would heighten public awareness and raise monies for brain tumor research in hopes of finding a cure. My ultimate goal would be to partner with Tim McGraw in these efforts. Tim lost his father, Tug McGraw, to this illness in January 2004. My final goal would be to leave a legacy of passion, faith, determination, strength and grace. Q: What is the best piece of advice you've ever received? Run your own race. Q: What have you learned about yourself after winning the state pageant? A: I stay so busy that I have learned to appreciate a quiet day. Q: What advice would you give today's teens? A: Be true to yourself. It's better to be hated for who you are, than be loved for who you're not. Q: What is one important thing you have learned from being in pageants? A: I have learned how to push myself. Compete against myself, not others, and gain something from each competition, so that I step away better than I was when I began. Growth is important. Q: What is the silliest thing you've seen at a pageant? A: Many years ago, I was a visiting queen at a local pageant and a young girl I was standing beside did not use the restroom before the curtain opened. Shortly after we were on stage, she began to use the restroom right there beside me while the other queens were introducing themselves. It ran down her leg, formed a puddle on stage, and she and I had to stand in it until the curtain closed! Clean up on aisle one!!! Q: Do you have any fun/funny behind-the-scenes stories? A: Yes É it involves tape and swimsuit competition É enough said! Q: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? A: I would like to have more patience. Q: During your pageant competitions, what has been the most difficult question you've been asked to answer? A: When I was younger, I was asked the question if you had to choose between ice cream and a boyfriend which would you choose? It is not fair to make a girl choose between dessert and a boyfriend! Q: How many pageants have you competed in during your life? A: I have no idea. I have competed since I was 4. Q: What do you feel is the most important issue facing the nation at the time in history? A: I am deeply concerned about the lack of respect and support for our nation, our president and our military. We are a free country, and we have the opportunity to be unique individuals, but it seems as though people do not appreciate those freedoms and what it takes to keep them. Q: What do you think is the greatest misconception about pageant contestants? A: The typical stereotype for pageant contestants is arrogant, fake, superficial, caddy and unapproachable. That is not always the case. We are human beings just like everyone else, with feelings, but most importantly goals for our lives and pageants allow us to challenge ourselves to obtain those goals. We are approachable and real people. Q: Do you consider yourself a role model? Is so are you comfortable in that position? A: Yes, I do consider myself a role model, and I am very comfortable being in that position because I am confidant being myself. I am proud of where I have come from and where I am going, and I am certain of the legacy of which I will leave behind. Q: What is the last book you read? A: Ya Gotta Believe by Tug McGraw Q: What do you consider your greatest strength? Weakness? A: My greatest strength is my independence, and my weakness is how stubborn I can be at times. Q: What qualities do you look for in a leader? Do you have these qualities? A: In a leader I look for integrity, courage, faith, determination, passion, and they must be a good listener. I do feel as if my parents raised me with these same qualities, and I am most comfortable in a leadership position. Q: What does it mean to you to be an American? A: Being an American is about standing up when hear the music for our national anthem and getting chills listening to the words that remind us of all the sacrifices that have been made for us to be living here today. Being an American means having the freedom to be an individual, possessing great pride in our country and continually supporting our military and president. Q: What are you studying, or what did you study in school? A: Business administration with a concentration in marketing Q: What were you like when you were a child? A: Prissy, petite, polite, artistic, inquisitive, talented É and just a tad stubborn! Q: What are you most excited about regarding this year's pageant? A: I am most excited about being a part of all the new and inspiring changes that the CMT partnership will bring to the Miss America Program. Q: What is the best thing about participating in this year's pageant? A: To participate is simply the opportunity of a lifetime. I was once told that you have a better chance of your son playing in the NFL than your daughter walking across the stage at Miss America. That says it all!