Seventeen-year-old Lauren Byrne from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was the High School winner in the National Annual Irish History Writing Contest organized by the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians. Her winning entry contains excerpts from a young woman’s diary who emigrated to America from Ireland at the end of the 19th century. Her story represents the difficulties faced by the Irish leaving their homes for the New World and how they influenced America at that time in history.
Lauren is very involved in the Irish community in Pittsburgh. She is president of the Junior Division of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians. She was chosen Miss Smiling Irish Eyes in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade because of her community involvement and service work with the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, an organization that fights for the rights of the under-represented in the community, as well as for her strong academic performance.
Lauren fits many extra curricular activities into her very busy schedule. She is News Editor of her school newspaper Ellisian Times and is co-president of Students Against Drank Driving. She is also a keen lacrosse player.
As Miss Smiling Irish Eyes, Lauren has been invited to the Maids of Mourne competition in August 2002. Her friends and family are currently fundraising to raise money for the trip. As it will be her first visit to Ireland, she is greatly looking forward to the trip which will allow her further opportunity to explore her Irish heritage. ♦