By Cassie Lynott
Ohio University student and Miss Ohio USA 2004 Lauren Kelsey Hall will compete for the title of Miss USA 2004 this Monday, April 12, at 9 p.m. The pageant will be broadcast on NBC.
Hall, a sophomore broadcast journalism major in the University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, has dedicated her year as Miss Ohio to combat illiteracy. Hall will also be supporting the pageant's official cause of breast and ovarian cancer awareness, recently meeting with Appalachia READS and the American Cancer Society to discuss how she can further promote these issues.
Hall has worked with literacy programs for over a decade and attributes her parents and teachers to first developing her love of literature.
"A lot of kids in my area don't have families that make reading a priority, which is sad for me because my parents always made reading a big deal," Hall said. Literacy has been Hall's primary cause since her entry into the pageant world in 1990.
Along with her heavy course load and hectic travel schedule, Hall sets aside time to volunteer at her mother's preschool every week, and stays involved with various charities such as the Ronald McDonald House through her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi.
Hall received a huge hometown sendoff this week from staff and students at Wellston's Bundy Elementary School before jetting off to Los Angeles for the contest. During the farewell celebration, Hall addressed the importance of reading and education to the students. "I loved school," she said, "and always worked hard. I always read."
Cassie Lynott is a student intern with University Communications and Marketing.