Three local Miss Alabama USA contestants are hoping to bring the crown back to their community

LAUREN JOHNSON

The Miss Alabama USA and Miss Teen USA pageants will return to Auburn University’s Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m

This year, three local nominees, incumbent 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 across the state in interview, evening gown, and swimsuit/activewear competitions with a chance not only to wear the crown, but also to win scholarships, awards, and travel across the state to see the pageant support financially.

There are 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 graduate student at Auburn University majoring in Marketing. Her goal is to break into the sourcing market for companies like Target and eventually become an international businesswoman.

“I love going to Target and looking around and looking at what’s on the shelves,” Lamm said. “One day I found out that this is actually a job, so I wanted to do it.”

Growing up with three older brothers, Lamm said she considered herself a tomboy, but she still enjoyed some “girly girl” activities. One day she asked her mother to sign her up for a pageant.

“Ever since then I was hooked and had this dream of being Miss USA and I’ve been working towards my goal ever since,” she said.

Lamm competed in the Miss Alabama USA pageant last year and was named third runner-up. She said she learned a lot from her experience and made many new friends.

If she won the title, Lamm said her goal would be to help people get involved in their community by finding organizations to work with to make a lasting impact.

She also plans to continue her involvement with the Auburn University Dance Marathon as an assistant director. This fundraiser 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 speak about organizations that are important to me and gives me the opportunity to create awareness and can help me bring growth to those organizations” said Lamb.

Kaylan Colvin, 24, of Opelika, is a 2016 graduate of Beauregard High School and 2020 Troy University. She received a full academic scholarship to Troy and graduated with a degree in Global Business.

After working in Tennessee for two years, Colvin moved back to the Auburn-Opelika area to pursue her goals as a small business owner and to be closer to friends and family.

She currently owns two small businesses – The Diamond Label, a clothing brand, and KC Marketing, a marketing firm specializing in social media management for small businesses.

“It really felt like it was what I was meant to do and my passion,” Colvin said. “I realized that part of my passion was helping other girls grow their businesses.”

Their future goals are to keep growing with their companies and to reach new milestones.

Colvin has competed in beauty pageants since she can remember, having competed in Miss Alabama and Miss Tennessee USA in the past, and is also a beauty pageant judge.

“I remember my mom walking me across the stage wearing pink cowboy boots when I was way too young to do it on my own,” she said.

Aside from enjoying the glamor that comes with being crowned Miss Alabama USA, Colvin said if she wins she would love to further support foster families in the state.

“My niece was adopted into foster care and through my family’s journey we have learned so much about the great need for foster care,” said Colvin. “There are organizations like America’s Kids Belong that operate nationally, and I’d love to lead the way in bringing that to Alabama.”

Sophie Burzynski, 21, is a senior at Auburn University and has a dual degree in nutrition and business administration. After graduation, she wants to be a pediatric dentist.

Currently, Burzynski is a member of the War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen, the official hosts of Auburn University, and a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha fraternity, where she served as director of the Big Man on Campus philanthropy event, which raised over $250,000 for reconnaissance about breast cancer.

She also owns a wedding video company called Sophie B.

“It’s so funny to me that it has nothing to do with being a dentist, but what does come with it is that it’s a lot of people skills and a lot of service,” she said. “I think weddings and dentistry both have the service aspect of helping people.”

Burzynski has competed in beauty pageants before, but this will be her first time competing for the Miss Alabama USA title. She decided to attend the pageant in hopes of giving back to her community.

“If I had the honor of being the next Miss Alabama and representing Auburn and Opelika, that would be just cool for me,” Burzynski said. “I feel like Auburn has really been my foundation for the rest of my life and it’s really driven me to be super successful, so it’s just super awesome to be able to give back to Auburn and Opelika.”

If she wins, she wants 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 lives and pursue their dreams,” Burzynski said.

Miss Alabama and Miss Teen Alabama will be collecting votes for the People’s Choice Award online at https://www.missalabamausa.com/miss-contestants/ through Saturday, January 28 at 12:00 p.m. Each vote costs $1, and the candidate with the most votes is guaranteed a spot in the semifinals.

Tickets to attend the pageant range from $45 to $100, depending on seating, and can be purchased online at goguecentertickets.auburn.edu, by phone at 334-844-8497, or in person at 910 South College St, Auburn.

The Gogue Center box office is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m

The pageant shows, sponsored by the Miss Universe Organization, will be streamed live online at PageantsLive.com.

The Miss Alabama USA winner will continue to compete for the Miss USA title.

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