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Meet Miss America 2007

Feature Story

“I’ve been watching Miss America on television since I was a little girl, never in my wildest dreams would I have believed I would be Miss America.”

These were the words of Lauren Nelson not long after she was crowned Miss America 2007 in Las Vegas on January 29, 2007, winning a $50,000 scholarship. She succeeded Jennifer Berry, who was also Miss Oklahoma, in the first incident of consecutive winners from the same state since 1959-1960.

This 20 year old, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, beauty was born and raised in Lawton, OK. She attended Lawton Public Schools and is a graduate of MacArthur High School in Lawton. Lauren is a member of Centenary United Methodist Church, where she began singing as a child (and shared a beautiful song with the congregation on Easter morning 2007). She has appeared in many musicals including “Bye Bye Birdie”, and “Anything Goes.”

A student at the University of Central Oklahoma, pursuing a Masters Degree in Musical Theater, Lauren aspires to be a Broadway star. She has received the Renaissance Academic Award for maintaining a 4.0 GPA, the Lawton Community Foundation Scholarship, and the University of Central Oklahoma Freshman Merit Scholarship.

Lauren was Miss Teen Oklahoma in 2004, and performed at the 2005 Miss Oklahoma Pageant. She then won the Miss Oklahoma State Fair title and went onto compete in the 2006 Miss Oklahoma pageant. She was crowned Miss Oklahoma 2006 on June 11, 2006 and received a $16,000 scholarship. Winning this crown at age 19 made her the youngest contestant ever to be named Miss Oklahoma.

From there she headed to Las Vegas in January to compete in the Miss America pageant at the Aladdin Resort and Casino, where she won the Thursday evening preliminary award for Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit. She was the first Miss Oklahoma to receive a swimsuit honor since 1955.

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As Miss America, Lauren serves as the National Goodwill Ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network. Her Personal Platform Issue is Internet Safety- Protecting Kids Online. Recently she teamed up with John Walsh of “Americas Most Wanted” in a sting to roundup online sexual predators by posing as a 14-year-old girl from Long Island, and chatting to men online and by telephone. Because of the efforts of “Americas Most Wanted,” and Lauren Nelson, eleven men were arrested in the sting operation.

Initial reports had indicated that Lauren would not return to Long Island to testify against the predators, but those stories have proven to be false and the “Americas Most Wanted” www.amw.com/features/feature_story_detail.cfm website clearly states that Miss Nelson will be testifying for the prosecution.

Lauren credits her religious faith with helping her to stay strong and get where she is today. She also admits to some vices such as biting her nails and cracking her knuckles, and she can now she can eat anything she wants because, she says, “I don’t ever have to wear a bikini again unless I want to!” This is probably a good thing since she loves Butterfingers.

Lauren is the daughter of Mark and Sherrell Nelson of Lawton, OK and has two younger siblings, sister Morgan, and brother Logan.