The Miss Alabama USA and Miss Teen USA pageant will return to Auburn University’s Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
This year three local contestants, the reigning Miss Auburn Natalie Lamm, Miss Lee County Kaylan Colvin and Miss Auburn-Opelika Sophie Burzynski, are hoping to bring back the Miss Alabama crown to their community.
They will compete against contestants from all over the state in interview, evening gown and swimsuit/active wear competitions with a chance, not only to wear the crown, but also to win scholarships and prizes and travel the state promoting the pageant.
There will be 36 contestants between the ages of 14 and 18 in the Miss Alabama Teen USA pageant and 37 contestants between the ages of 18 and 27 in the Miss Alabama USA pageant.
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Natalie Lamm, 20, is a junior at Auburn University majoring in marketing. Her goal is to go into the buying market for companies like Target and to eventually become an international business woman.
“I love to go into Target and look around and go and look at what’s on the shelf,” Lamm said. “One day, I learned that that was actually a job, so I wanted to pursue that.”
Growing up with three older brothers, Lamm said she considered herself a tomboy, but she still enjoyed some “girly girl” activities. One day, she begged her mom to sign her up for a pageant.
“Ever since then, I was hooked and had this dream of becoming Miss USA, and ever since then, I’ve worked towards my goal,” she said.
Lamm competed in the Miss Alabama USA pageant last year, and she was named third runner up. She said she learned a lot from her experience and made many new friendships.
If she were to win the title, Lamm said her goal would be to help people get involved in their community by finding organizations they can serve with to make a lasting impact.
She also plans to continue her involvement with Auburn University Dance Marathon as an assistant director. This fundraising organization supports The Children’s Hospital at Piedmont Columbus Regional and raised over $250,000 for the hospital last year.
“Miss Alabama USA gives me a platform to reach so many people…to talk about organizations that are near and dear to my heart and give me an opportunity to bring awareness and can help me bring growth to these organizations,” Lamm said.
Kaylan Colvin, 24, of Opelika is a 2016 graduate of Beauregard High School and a 2020 graduate of Troy University. She earned a full academic scholarship to Troy and graduated with a degree in global business.
After working in Tennessee for two years, Colvin moved back home to the Auburn-Opelika area to pursue her small business goals and be closer to friends and family.
She currently owns two small businesses – The Diamond Label, an apparel brand, and KC Marketing, a marketing firm that specializes in social media management for small businesses.
“It truly just felt like it’s exactly what I was supposed to be doing and my passion,” Colvin said. “I realized that part of my passion was to help other girls grow their business as well.”
Her future goals are to continue growing and reaching new milestones with her businesses.
Colvin has competed in pageants as early as she can remember, has competed in Miss Alabama and Miss Tennessee USA in the past and also judges pageants.
“I remember my mom walking me across the stage and wearing pink cowboy boots when I was way too young to do it by myself,” she said.
Besides enjoying the glamour that comes with being crowned Miss Alabama USA, Colvin said if she wins, she’d love to promote foster care support in the state.
“My niece was adopted through foster care, and through my family’s journey, we just learned so much about how big of a need there is for foster care families,” Colvin said. “There’s organizations like America’s Kids Belong that operate at a national level, and I’d love to be able to lead the way to bring that to Alabama.”
Sophie Burzynski, 21, is a senior at Auburn University double majoring in nutrition science and business management. After graduation, she plans to become a pediatric dentist.
Currently, Burzynski is a member of the War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen, the official hosts of Auburn University, and is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority where she’s served as the director over the philanthropy event Big Man on Campus, which raised over $250,000 for breast cancer education awareness.
She also owns a wedding videography company called Sophie B.
“It’s so funny to me that has nothing to do with being a dentist, but what that does relate on is it’s a lot of people skills and a lot of service,” she said. “I think weddings and dentistry both have that service aspect of helping people.”
Burzynski has participated in pageants before, but this will be her first time competing for the Miss Alabama USA title. She decided to enter the pageant in hopes of giving back to her community.
“If I were able to have the honor of being the next Miss Alabama and to represent Auburn and Opelika is just so cool to me,” Burzynski said. “I feel like Auburn has really been my foundation for the rest of my life and it’s really set me up to be super successful, so to be able to give back to Auburn and Opelika is just super awesome.”
If she wins, she’d like to help integrate life skills courses into high schools and colleges to help others become entrepreneurs.
“I really just want to be able to inspire the next generation to be their own entrepreneurs in their own life and to be able to accomplish their dreams,” Burzynski said.
Miss Alabama and Miss Teen Alabama will collect votes for the People’s Choice Award online at https://www.missalabamausa.com/miss-contestants/ until 12 p.m. on Saturday, Jan 28. Each vote costs $1 and the contestant with the most votes will be guaranteed a spot in the semifinals.
Tickets at attend the pageant range from $45 to $100 depending on seat location and can be purchase online at goguecentertickets.auburn.edu, by phone 334-844-8497 or in person at 910 South College St, Auburn.
The Gogue Center box office will be open Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The pageant shows, sponsored by the Miss Universe Organization, will be streaming live online at PageantsLive.com.
The winner of Miss Alabama USA will go on to compete for the Miss USA title.