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Rocklin woman running for Miss California USA

Shawna Bruce heads to competition in January
By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Placer Herald editor
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Shawna Bruce plans on proving in January that she has what it takes to represent Placer County as Miss California USA.

In January, the 26-year-old Rocklin resident heads to Pasadena, where she will compete against 200 other women for the title. She’ll compete in interview, evening gown and swimwear competitions, being judged throughout the event on character, poise, confidence and personality.

If she makes it into the top 20, she’ll move to other levels of competition and, if she wins the crown, she’ll compete for the title of Miss USA.

Pageantry is nothing new to Bruce, who started competing as a teen after friends at Rocklin High School convinced her to give it a try.

“Before pageantry, I couldn’t stand up in front of a crowd of people and say one thing, let alone answer a question or give a speech,” Bruce said.

Bruce competed for Miss Placer County for seven years, a title she won in 2011. She and the winner of Miss Teen Placer County, Lauren Lagge of Lincoln, both applied and were accepted to compete in Miss California USA and Miss California Teen USA.

“It’s just an amazing opportunity for both of us, and to have another year together, obviously, would be amazing. Just competing together is a great experience again.”

Accompanying Bruce to Pasadena will be her mother, Kim Brady, who shared that when she and her daughter found out she had been accepted into the competition, they started jumping up and down with excitement.

“She has wanted to do this for a really long time and she has worked really hard to get where she is,” Brady said. “And I think it’s great. I can’t wait to be there. She’s going to do fantastic, I know she is.

Bruce, the daughter of her late father, John, mom Brady and stepdad Mike, said family is an important part of her life. She grew up in Rocklin with three brothers, she said, so “you can imagine dating in my household.”

“All she did was point and they’d jump and get it for her,” Brady laughed. “It was awesome. She was so spoiled – it was great.”

“I try to spend as much time as I can with my family and friends,” Bruce said, when asked what she does in her spare time. “I bake a lot, I’m a cook, and of course, like any other girl, I shop. I go to the gym, I try to stay as healthy as possible. I spend a lot of time with my new nephew.

The rest of the time, Bruce is hard at work in the accounting office for Learning Solutions of Sacramento, a firm that tutors special-needs children. She also has plans to further her education in the field in which she works.

That busy schedule is part of what Bruce thinks makes her a good choice for Miss California, coupled with the fact that she already knows the responsibilities that come with being a titleholder.

“Life is a balancing act,” she said. “I think that I would be a good role model for girls. … I just want to be able to show girls that no matter what your goal is, if you put your mind to it and you’re determined in setting that goal for yourself and achieving that goal for yourself 100 percent, you can do whatever you set your mind to.”