Miss Tennessee and former Miss Chattanooga Chandler Lawson hit the Miss America jackpot on her 23rd birthday finishing in the top 10 and winning $9,000 in scholarships during the nationally televised finals on Saturday night from the Planet Hollywood Theatre in Las Vegas.
Miss America 2013 is Mallory Hytes Hagan, who represented New York but is a native of Opelika, Ala. The former Auburn University student now lives in Brooklyn where she attends The Fashion Institute of Technology. She won a $50,000 scholarship and will be promoting STEM education during her year of service. Miss Alabama Anna Laura Bryan was a top 12 finalist.
Ms. Lawson received a $7,000 scholarship as a top 10 finisher and was the recipient of a $2,000 Quality of Life grant earlier in the week for outstanding community service in starting 5 Loaves 4 Kids in her hometown of Tullahoma.
The organization provides weekend food backpacks for low income families. The political science graduate of UTC will use her scholarship winnings to attend The University of Tennessee School of Law after her year of service is completed in June.
The daughter of Dr. Dan and Karen Lawson is the fourth Miss Tennessee in the last five years to finish in the top 10 at Miss America and is the second Scenic City Pageant contestant to accomplish the feat. Miss Tennessee and Miss Scenic City 2008 Ellen Carrington Shelton was a top seven finalist.
Miss Tennessee 2009 and former Miss Hamilton County Stefanie Wittler of Soddy-Daisy was second runner-up to Miss America 2009 Katie Stam Irk who was a member of this year’s Miss America judges’ panel.
Ms. Lawson, who sang the Adele hit “Turning Tables” for her talent presentation, will resume her Miss Tennessee duties visiting schools throughout the state where she will promote both her Feed Hope Fight Child Hunger and Character Education programs.