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Meet Lauren Faria of Miss Southeast Texas’ Outstanding Teen 2020

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Faria.

Lauren Faria, Flower Mound High School rising senior, captured the title of Miss Southeast Texas Outstanding Teen 2020. She is a squad leader and member of the nationally-ranked 6A marching band and the Air Force JROTC where she is Recruitment Commander. She’s also a NASA High School Aerospace Scholar (HAS), received a day of proclamation from the mayor, and is on the Teen Council Advisory Board – Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

She has now earned the right to represent Southeast Texas and compete at Miss Texas Outstanding Teen to be held next summer in Richardson. The winner of Miss Texas Outstanding Teen will go on to compete for the title of Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, as well as thousands of dollars in scholarship money.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Because of COVID-19, the Miss America and Miss Texas Organization has rescheduled this summer’s competition to the following summer. Recognizing a need to connect with others during this COVID-19 pandemic, I am juggling multiple projects which enable me to share my gift of music and love of S.T.E.A.M.

Every week, I perform live to a local retirement home via WebEx/ Zoom. I’ve also launched “Learn with Lauren” series via Instagram and Facebook. On Wednesday, Apr 22, I hosted and participated in a 24-hour music-thon with proceeds benefitting Project C.U.R.E.’s response to COVID-19 and relief efforts.

Understandably, internships, our yearly band trip, prom, teen leadership conference in D.C. and the SAT I had registered for were canceled. But, there was light at the end of the tunnel. I was accepted to Cal Poly’s College of Engineering’s Virtual EPIC summer camp and I discovered via a virtual slide show, I was awarded National Soujourners Award from the Corps of Cadets. And though, I celebrated my 17th birthday as a “quarantined teen”, my friends drove by the house.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
It’s the largest scholarship provider for women in the country that embodies the four points of the crown: service, scholarship, success and style.

It’ll be my third try for the crown this year. Last year, I prepared with daily morning workouts, weekly music lessons, reading the paper and watching the news for current events and bi-weekly mock interview sessions, and it helped! I was selected as a top-10 finalist allowing me to compete once more on finals night. Shortly after, we learned I was top 10 overall for the private interview. This year, I will do more of the same, but because I won a local competition earlier this year, I’ll have more time to prep.

I’m most proud of the fact that I can use this platform to elevate my personal platform, “Full STEAM Ahead” – promoting Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math to our youth. There are a lack of STEAM opportunities, mentorship and role models, but I will close the gap. We all want someone we can identify with and with my background in math, science, band, and AFJROTC, I believe I am a relatable role model who can ignite that spark in someone else.

Just like my grandparents who immigrated to this country, I’m an explorer at heart. I have the hunger to push barriers, elevate MAOT to a worldwide level while exploring educational and service opportunities.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
My ultimate goal is to encourage kids to think outside the box and to go for it. My fourth-grade teacher, Ms. Duke, ignited my passion and made math fun. I want to encourage kids to follow their passion.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Sharon White Photography

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