BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The new Miss Alabama USA will use her year in the spotlight to highlight the need for more open discussions about mental health.
University of Alabama graduate Hannah Brown won the title and chance to represent the state only a few days ago, but already she's speaking candidly about her own journey with depression and anxiety.
"It's something that I have struggled with in the past," Brown said. "I have now figured out what my identity is, and I'm embracing authenticity. I want to be able to share that with young women."
Brown, 23, will spend her year making appearances with her new sister queen, Kennedy Cromeens, Miss Alabama Teen USA 2018. The pair were crowned last Saturday in Montgomery. They will represent Alabama at Miss USA and Miss Teen USA next year.
Cromeens, 16, of Shelby County, says she enjoys long distance running and kickboxing. She's also really into cars. Growing up, Cromeens often went to work with her dad who has been in the business for more than 20 years.
"I am constantly looking up cars and designing my dream car in the future. I just love cars, honestly," said Cromeens, who also works in retail while attending Oak Mountain High School. In a questionnaire submitted to the pageant judges, she describes herself as quirky and admits she's still searching for a date to the prom.
You can watch Hannah compete at Miss USA will air right here on WBRC FOX6. Miss Alabama USA and Miss Alabama Teen USA are produced by RPM Productions in affiliation with the Miss Universe Organization.