Check out all the background info on Miss America 2015 contestant Miss Alabama Caitlin Brunell …
1. Brunell Has Won the Quality of Life Award
The three winners of the Quality of Life Award were named on Wednesday, September 10, 2014. Shore News Today reported that:
The awards go to three contestants who excel in their commitment to enhancing the quality of life for others through volunteerism and community service.
As the winner, Brunell takes home $6,000. Miss Delaware Brittany Lewis was runner-up and received a $4,000 prize. Miss Maryland Jade Kenny came in third, winning $2,000.
2. She’s Won Well Over $80,000 in Scholarship Money Thus Far
Through all her competitions, Brunell has amassed well over $80,000 in scholarship money, which she said has helped her family a great deal. The Press of Atltanic City states:
She was crowned Miss Alabama on her third trip to the state pageant and credits her years of involvement with the Miss America Organization in Virginia and Alabama for her ability to graduate debt-free from the University of Alabama.
Her receiving the Quality of Life Award added to her winnings as well.
3. Broadway Is her Ultimate Career Goal
Brunell hopes to pursue dance education at the Broadway Dance Center in NYC and eventually tackle Broadway as a professional dancer. In addition, she aims to obtain a Master’s degree in non-profit management.
4. Her Charity Is Called Caitlin’s Closet
Like several of the other contestants, Brunell has started her own charity. Hers has been very successful and the Press of Atlantic City has the full story on how it began, writing:
At age 15, Miss Alabama Caitlin Brunell started her own non-profit organization, Caitlin’s Closet. The now 22-year-old was homeschooled until eighth grade and when she started high school a friend couldn’t attend homecoming simply because s…he couldn’t afford a dress. Caitlin gave a dress to the young girl and decided to recruit others to the cause of helping give special occasion wear to those who could use it and appreciate it. Since then, the group has distributed 10,000 dresses and dress suits to women.
Her goal is to develop Caitlin’s Closet into a national, double bottom line social enterprise.
5. Former Miss America Heather Whitestone McCallum Thinks Brunell Could Win
— pepnet 2 (@pepnet2) April 4, 2014
Brunell has a ton of supporters and one of them is former Miss America Heather Whitestone McCallum. McCallum told AL.com:
Last night, I saw her ballet performance for the first time. She danced gracefully on the stage. She looked gorgeous. I love her evening gown and her interview was wonderful. I think she could do well. I think she could win.
McCallum showed further support by surprising Brunell and her family on the last night of the 2015 Miss America preliminary competition this past week.
McCallum was the first deaf Miss America.