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Miss Tennessee Speaks Out

By Natalie Potts
By Npotts@wbbjtv.com

Jackson, Tenn. - After four days of grueling competition, this year's Miss Tennessee scholarship pageant has come to an end.

The competition started Wednesday with 36 young women, in their late teens to 20s. The judges narrowed it down to 15 contestants Saturday night, then crowned their new Miss Tennessee - Miss Chattanooga, Chandler Lawson.

The Top five contestants were:
Winner: Chandler Lawson
1st runner-up: Kristen Mosley
2nd runner-up: Amy Flynn
3rd runner-up: Morgan Moore
4th runner-up: Kyndall Covington

Chandler Lawson, 22, spoke with 7 Eyewitness news Sunday morning after her big win and her journey to the crown.

"I was a tom boy growing up, so all of this seemed a little foreign with the high heels and the dresses," said Chandler.

Lawson said being Miss Tennessee has been her goal since she was seven years old. She said she has always wanted to make a difference.

"I have a heart for people and a heart for service," said Lawson.

Before her pageant days, Lawson was working on a platform and a non profit organization called 5 Loaves 4 Kids.

"It's a weekend feeding program for students. It's a backpack program that serves the city of Tullahoma currently. We have packed over 50,000 bags for these students," said Lawson.

Lawson said she believes students need a role model that can teach important values and character traits.

"I have always wanted to have that opportunity to go into schools and speak about things that matter to me and in this case it's character and education," said Chandler.

Chandler said Miss Tennessee gives opportunities to change lives. She is now planning to meet more than 40,000 students in the weeks before the Miss America pageant in January.

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