Lauren Faria, Flower Mound High School junior, recently captured the title of Miss Southeast Texas Outstanding Teen 2020. She is a member of the marching band and the Air Force JROTC where she is rocketry commander and group superintendent. She’s also a NASA High School Aerospace Scholar (HAS) and is on the Teen Council Advisory Board – Dallas Symphony Orchestra. She has now earned the right to represent Southeast Texas and compete at Miss Texas Outstanding Teen to be held next summer in Richardson. The winner of Miss Texas Outstanding Teen will go on to compete for the title of Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, as well as thousands of dollars in scholarship money.
How long have you lived in Flower Mound?
We moved to Flower Mound from Irving when I was 3 years old. Lewisville Independent School District has an excellent reputation for education and the fine arts.
Tell us about our family.
Parents are second generation Americans. My mom’s parents immigrated from the Philippines while my dad’s parents immigrated from Portugal. I have a 10-year-old sister, Madison, and a 1.5-year-old rescue dog named Mimi.
Tell us a little bit about the Miss Texas Outstanding Teen program.
It’s the largest scholarship provider for women in the country that embodies the four points of the crown: service, scholarship, success and style.
What all did you have to do in the Miss Southeast Texas Outstanding Teen competition?
Competition consisted of a six-minute private interview with a panel of judges, fitness routine competition, 90-second talent and on stage question/evening gown portion.
How will you prepare for Miss Texas Outstanding Teen this summer?
It’ll be my third try for the crown this year. Last year, I prepared with daily morning workouts, weekly music lessons, reading the paper and watching the news for current events and bi-weekly mock interview sessions, and it helped! I was selected as a top-10 finalist allowing me to compete once more on finals night. Shortly after, we learned I was top 10 overall for the private interview. This year, I will do more of the same, but because I won a local competition earlier this year, I’ll have more time to prep.
What made you decide to participate in this program?
I actually found out about the teen program by accident! I stumbled across the social media account of Miss Texas, Caroline Carothers. I learned she would be hosting a baton clinic in Richardson. I didn’t own a baton or know how to twirl, but I begged my mom to take me. I soon fell in love with the program for the service aspect. My social impact encourages kids to pursue STEM careers, but I’m also actively helping other organizations. Some of my favorites are Special Olympics, Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) and Texas Cares.
What’s your ultimate goal in terms of these types of competitions?
My ultimate goal is to encourage kids to think outside the box and to go for it. My fourth-grade teacher, Ms. Duke, ignited my passion and made math fun. I want to encourage kids to follow their passion.
What is involved in being a NASA High School Aerospace Scholar?
It’s two extra hours of online work of an already jam packed schedule. Lessons are graded by certified instructors. If I place in the top 1 percent of scoring, I will be invited to a one-week, all expense trip to the NASA Johnson Space Center over the summer to work with engineers, scientists and astronauts.
Tell us about your musical talent.
I played “Bohemian Rhapsody” on flute by legendary rock band Queen. They played for people who felt they didn’t belong, and I want to remind everyone that they DO belong.
What do you do on the Teen Council Advisory Board?
We’re a board composed of passionate teens who plan and execute events and performances designed to build teen interest and audiences for classical music experiences.
What do you want to do after you graduate high school?
I’d love to get a degree in electrical engineering, enter the Air Force, work for NASA and help land an astronaut on Mars.
Who’s your favorite musician?
Lizzo because, like me, she plays the flute.
Favorite TV show?
I wish I had time to watch TV.