Valley News -

By Kylie Canales
Intern 

Mrs. California International, Lauren Weeks prepares for competition

 

Last updated 4/13/2018 at 1:30pm

Courtesy

Mrs. California International, Lauren Weeks, speaks with Gospel on Demand Radio, where she addressed Together We Rise, America's Kids Belong, and California's Kids Belong and ways San Diego can make a difference for children in foster care.

The Inland Empire is home to this year's Mrs. California International, Lauren Weeks. In July, Weeks and other contestants from around the globe will fly to Charleston, West Virginia, for one week where they will compete for the coveted Mrs. International crown.

Weeks started participating in pageants during her younger teen years when a family friend discovered her knack for singing. Weeks was placed into a pageant and the first one she ever competed in, she won. It was then that she says she discovered a passion and caught what she calls the "pageant bug."

When Weeks was a senior in college, she was crowned Miss San Diego. Shortly after, she graduated at Point Loma Nazarene University with a B.A. in Business Communications and was also valedictorian of the school.

After Weeks gave up her crown, she started working at the Disneyland theme park and stayed there for the following nine years. She was reunited with pageantry when she was helping in a local company. One of the directors of the company saw how much Weeks loved being there and thought it would be fun if she competed in the Mrs. Pageant.

"She gave me her card and I held on to it and I prayed on it," said Weeks, who is a firm believer on praying over her decisions before she makes them.

"For me, I like to look at everything and see God's plan for me," she said.

Weeks decided to enter the pageant but not tell anyone except her mother and sister.

"I always do better if I don't have the pressure that everyone knows," she said.

She then went on to the next level competition and won the title of Mrs. California International 2018.

Just a few short months away from the Mrs. International pageant, Weeks has been holding campaigns and giving speeches throughout southern California. She is a huge advocate for Together We Rise, a program where volunteers create "sweet cases" by packing duffel bags with items, such as hygiene products and hand-written notes, for children who are being adopted into foster homes.

Weeks hopes to create more awareness about foster children.

"Close to 40 percent of married couples have had a strong desire to foster a child, yet only 2 percent ever actually go through with it," she said.

Weeks and her husband are currently in the process of becoming foster parents and hope to adopt a foster child by the end of the year to add to their family of four.

Another platform Weeks advocates is the American Heart Association. She is a strong supporter of the campaign "Go Red for Women" as heart disease is the leading cause of death among women.

Weeks hopes to bring her two platforms with her to the Mrs. International pageant and show that she "loves to get out in the community and out in the state and share my passion." As part of the competition, Lauren will be given five minute interviews by five different judges for 25 minutes of face to face interviews. The interview is the biggest portion of the competition, she said. It is the followed by fitness wear and formal wear competition.

The Mrs. International pageant system is the only system that has the contestant's husband be their escort for formal wear.

"It's hard to imagine a program where your husband is not involved," said Weeks.

She enjoys having her husband by her side at competitions and also watch other husbands meet each other and become friends.

Courtesy

Mrs. California International, Lauren Weeks, interacts with a young patient at Loma Linda children's hospital.

Weeks is a "day-by-day, month-by-month" kind of gal. Her future plans include performing the role of Belle in Theatre Royale's musical production of "Beauty and the Beast" at Pechanga Resort & Casino. She has always wanted to perform this role and also believes it will be a great practice for stage performance in preparation for her upcoming competition.

Whether Weeks wins the title of Mrs. International or not, she is excited to meet all the other ladies that will be competing with her. She hopes to take away a great experience filled with many memories.

"I want to go and focus on every minute of it," she said.

If Weeks wins, she will be traveling internationally, promoting her platforms on a much larger scale. It opens many doors for her, especially on social media.

"It's really about serving," she said. "If you're not serving others and not making a difference, you're not doing your job."

 

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