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Miss Georgia Pageant: Q&A with Lauren Edmunds, Miss Peachtree

Age: 23

School: B.S.F.C.S Furnishings & Interiors, University of Georgia- Cum Laude Graduate

Platform: Breast Cancer: Fighting the Fear

Talent: Jazz en Pointe "Feelin' Good"

Hometown: Americus, Georgia

Educational goals: M.S. Textiles, Merchandising & Interiors (focus in Sustainable Interior Environment)Ph.D. Interiors and Environmental Design

Career Aspirations: My "dream job" would be representing the nation's leading scholarship provider for women as Miss America! Through those earned scholarships, I will continue my education to secure my Ph.D. in Sustainable Interior and Environmental Design. One day, I would embrace the opportunity to design hospitals in a way that perfectly blends science, engineering, design, therapy and inspiration, providing support to patients and their families.

Family: Parents -- Fred and Kay Edmunds of Americus, Georgia. Twin Sisters -- Courtney Edmunds Jacobs and Whitney Edmunds Raburn

Favorite restaurant: Cheesecake Factory

Favorite movie: "Aladdin" and "300"

Favorite book: any Francine Rivers book

Favorite TV shows: "Dancing With the Stars" and "Modern Family"

Have you competed in Miss Georgia before? I was Miss Georgia's Outstanding Teen 2006, and I have competed in Miss Georgia four times as Miss Historic Southern Plains 2008, Miss Southern Rivers 2009, Miss Columbus 2010 and Miss Gwinnett County 2011. Now, I am very excited to have my fifth Miss Georgia experience as Miss Peachtree 2012!

Why is your platform special to you? When I was 13, I learned that my mother was struggling with breast cancer. For two years, I remember listening to her moans from pain and sickness. I vividly recall one Sunday morning removing loose hair from her balding head as a result of the chemotherapy. But, more importantly, I have forever committed to memory the remarkable courage I witnessed as she faced her challenges without complaint. Because of my experiences, I strive to reach out to others who are experiencing life's challenges. This has compelled me to create my platform: Breast Cancer: Fighting the Fear. In addition to my mother's bout with cancer, my great-grandmother and grandmother both battled breast cancer as well. Because of my predisposition to cancer, it is a war that I will wage my entire life. When confronted by "fear" we must make a choice: do we become a victim, or do we choose to diminish fear's devastating power? I have chosen to fight! I have made a positive commitment to allocate my energy and passion towards raising research funds and serving as a guide for others facing similar situations.

What advice would you like to share with teen girls who are struggling with school? First and foremost, you have to believe in you. Promising inevitable success to yourself on a daily basis is very important. Once that pivotal shift in mindset has been taken, a practical tool to implement is: "organization is the key to success." It has been the most helpful advice I have ever received in school, so I would definitely pass it along to other young women.

How would you describe your personal style? For me, it is in all the accessories, whether it's an awesome pair of shoes, a fun scarf or beautiful earrings; however, style is so much more than clothes. Style is how you choose to present yourself to the world as a whole. I prefer classic elegance with a twist of modern day fun. This concept applies to not only fashion, but also my personality and the way that I carry myself as a young lady.

How do you stay fit? As a ballet instructor, I am ensured about 10 hours of a workout each week. On my own time, I enjoy yoga, pilates, light weight lifting, zumba and jogging on the treadmill.

What's your favorite healthy meal and what are your favorite treats? My favorite healthy meal consists of baked chicken, raw broccoli and cauliflower and spinach in any form. While maintaining a healthy diet, my go-to treat is a berry smoothie, but I am well known among friends and family as a chocoholic!

What stresses you out and how do cope with the stress in your life? I think a huge stressor in anyone's life can be negativity. In this fast-paced world, it unfortunately finds its way into our busy schedules from time to time. In order to deflect that negativity, I become centered though my daily devotionals, bible studies, church worship services, and surrounding myself with positive role models.

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