Warren County native Lauren Elizabeth Mansfield has claimed the title of America’s Preteen National Teenager in a competition presented by America’s National Teenager Scholarship Organization.
She was crowned Sunday at the close of the pageant held at the Baltimore Museum of Art in Maryland. The crowning came at the end of a busy week for contestants coming from all over the United States vying for one of the most prestigious titles bestowed by the ANTSO program.
In addition to the title, Lauren competed in optional modeling and speech categories, placing first in both events. Four-minute private interview sessions were held with three judges before the opening ceremonies. On stage, she was asked why she wanted to be a pediatric dermatologist.
Lauren replied, “I love kids and it would be an honor to work with children. They often deal with confidence issues when it comes to their skin, and being able to give them the self-esteem that goes along with clear skin would be an amazing job.”
Lauren is thrilled to represent her state and her hometown, and was proud to wear the Tennessee sash and answer questions about her state. Most people asked her to say things two or three times just because they liked her accent. Her favorite part of the week was a pajama party because she said it was a fun bonding experience, like a giant sleepover.
While in Baltimore, contestants visited the National Aquarium, Washington, D.C., and in cooperation with Goodwill, served Thanksgiving meals to 5,000 homeless people.
The whole family was deeply impacted by this act of kindness.
“It was a different kind of Thanksgiving than we usually experience,” said Lauren’s mother, Brandie. “We were reminded of everything we have to be thankful for on a different level. Carrying plates for people who could not carry their own, holding babies so the parents could eat, and just sitting a talking with people who seemed lonely made for a one-of-a-kind experience.”
Lauren is the 13-year-old daughter of Mike and Brandie Mansfield. They are proud of her scholastic achievements, making the All A honor roll, placing in the Top Six in the Appalachian Regional Spelling Bee, receiving numerous math and science awards, and accepting a proclamation from Tennessee Rep. Paul Sherrell and Speaker of the House Beth Harwell in recognition of service and academics, and score of 24 on the ACT test.
She was recently accepted to the prestigious Weekend at Vanderbilt University Academy, which only accept students in grades 8-12 in the top 85 percent or above in the state. In February, she will participate in the paleobiology session in Nashville.
She is an eighth-grader at Centertown School, where she is active in numerous clubs, including Beta Club, 4-H Honor Club and Leo Club. She is on the Warren County Middle School dance team, and a member of Homeland Community Bank Youth Advisory Board.
Lauren’s pageant platform is “Wear the Crown,” which encourages children to find that special thing about themselves and be proud of it. In relation to her platform, she and her mother, along with a host of volunteers are currently organizing the Miss Lovely Pageant to be presented in February.
ANTSO was founded in 1970 and is the nation’s longest running scholarship pageant for teens, promoting strong scholastic ideals, solid leadership principles and high character growth to young women. The pageant director is Jenny Telwar-Daniel of Brentwood.