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Miss ULM 2015 expands her platform

Published November 03, 2014

After being crowned Miss University of Louisiana at Monroe 2015, Lauren Ford, a pharmacy major from Monroe, immediately began preparing for the Miss Louisiana competition in June. However, one aspect of the Miss Louisiana competition—the contestant’s platform—comes naturally for Lauren, as she has spent almost her entire life practicing and informing others of the lessons of her platform, “Character Counts!”


“I was first introduced to “Character Counts!” in elementary school. I went through the program and they helped promote life lessons,” said Ford. “We celebrated “Character Counts! Week,” and it meant a lot to me.”

Before she won the title of Miss ULM, Ford spoke to younger children, where she was able to teach them about good character traits and how to show respect to classmates, teachers, and family.

She even created her own off-shoot of the program, “Character: Be a Champ,” where students were able to design and take home their very own crown to serve as a reminder to always demonstrate good character.

Now, Ford wants to bring her lessons to ULM’s campus. Even though the recipients of the message are much older, Ford still expects an impact.

“Obviously, adults in college know what character is, but the goal is to provide practical ways in which to live it out,” Ford said. “In fact, for “Character Counts! Week,” I did several things on social media, including random acts of kindness, and I hopefully inspired students to start doing kind things for each other, to start a positive chain reaction.”

Ford understands the importance of the crown she wears, as well as the impact her role has within the Monroe area.

“As Miss ULM, I’m very excited about the opportunity that the title brings, because when you’re in Monroe, everyone knows Miss ULM,” Ford said. “I feel that I’ll have the voice to get out there and promote my platform. I want to do as much good as I can with the title.”

The Miss Louisiana 2015 competition will take place in June 2015. The winner will compete in the 2015 Miss America competition.

About Character Counts!:

Founded in 1992, by a group of educators, ethicists, and youth-service professionals attending the Josephson Institute, Character Counts! was created to develop common listing of core values that transcend socioeconomic, religious, or political differences.

The organization is based off the Six Pillars of Character—trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. These six traits became the core of the Character Counts! movement.

Today, the Character Counts! Coalition consists of 850 member organizations and thousands of affiliated schools, which reach more than 7 million children and their families.

Such programs include “Pursuing Victory With Honor,” which equips coaches with strategies and training to develop sportsmanship among athletes, as well as “Honor Above All,” an academic integrity program designed to include strategies to combat cheating and promote integrity.

For more information, visit charactercounts.org