Miss Tennessee Chandler Lawson was recognized for her community service work Thursday when she was named second runner-up for the Miss America Quality of Life Award and receiving a $2,000 scholarship in the highest finish for a Volunteer State representative in the 25 year history of the award.
Miss Alabama Anna Laura Bryan received the top scholarship of $6,000 for authoring a bill in the state legislature allowing those with autism to be accompanied by service dogs in public facilities. Miss Maryland Joanna Guy was awarded the second place $4,000 scholarship for promoting heart health awareness.
A panel of former Miss America winners interviewed the finalists on Wednesday.
Ms. Lawson started 5 Loaves 4 Kids six years ago while attending Tullahoma High School after attending a cafeteria club meeting. The program which has received 501c3 status, has distributed weekend backpack meals for over 45,000 low income students.
The UTC Political Science graduate and future University of Tennessee Law School student completed her preliminaries later in the day competing in the swimsuit and evening wear segments.
The top 14 plus the winner of the America’s Choice video voting contest will be announced in the opening minutes of Saturday’s finals which will begin at 9 ET on ABC. The pageant will be hosted for the third consecutive year by network personalities Chris Harrison and Brooke Burke-Charvet. Prior to the finals, a special Miss America edition of 20/20 will air at 8 ET.
Four of the last five Miss Tennessee titleholders have finished in the top 15 including 2009’s Stefanie Wittler of Soddy Daisy who was the second runner-up to 2010 Miss America Caressa Cameron Jackson.
Miss America 2013 will receive a $50,000 scholarship, become the National Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network and a spokesperson for STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics) Education for young women.