KATELYN DI SALVO
Imagine walking out of school at 17 – and finding a brand new Ford Mustang waiting for you.
That’s exactly what happened to Benjamin Cardozo senior Lauren Schwartzberg on Friday.
The teen from Jamaica has been competing in pageants for the past six years. In November of 2013 she competed in the National American Miss Pageant against contestants from over 200 cities. Each was judged on the basis of her personal introduction, resume, community service, evening gown, and interviews. Schwartzberg came in first runner up at the pageant, behind Miss New Jersey.
But Schwartzberg walked away with more than just the title that day. She won the blue 2014 Ford Mustang convertible that her mother, Laura Schmitt, presented to her on Friday.
Schmitt waited anxiously outside the high school while decorating the two-door in balloons and bows.
“We’ve been waiting for the car since November, she has no idea it’s is finally here, she really deserves it” said a proud Schmitt.
When Schwartzberg laid eyes on the vehicle, she was overcome with joy – she ran to the car, screaming, and excitedly threw open the passenger door.
Schwartzberg, who is also very involved in various groups and clubs in her school and community and maintains an average of over 100, credits the National American Miss pageant and previous winners for helping her to come out of her shell and become a better person in and outside of school.
The teen, who hopes to be crowned Miss America one day, is applying to the BA/MD program at Brooklyn College and plans to be a doctor in the future.
“My advice to girls my age and younger is to try new things and be confident in themselves,” said Schwartzberg.