Oprah's Big Give Contestants
Watch Brandi's video bio
Brandi's four titles include two in her hometown of Sierra Vista, Arizona, and at every pageant, she had one goal in mind. "I always wanted to out-do the other girl in volunteer hours," she says. From high school through college alone, Brandi estimates that she volunteered more than 5,000 hours. A graduate of the University of Arizona, Brandi is passionate about being a mentor to children. She says she's a natural competitor and has always played sports, despite being diagnosed with scoliosis as a teenager—a condition that required her to wear a back brace and undergo four subsequent back surgeries. "It was really hard feeling different and being bullied and peer pressured. I grew up always being the ugly duckling," Brandi says.
An admitted fast food addict, Brandi's resume of wins stretches even beyond the Miss America Organization. "I've been the winner of a pie-eating contest, and I've even eaten a live worm."
"I wanted to be on Oprah's Big Give to show America that a young person can give back," Brandi says. "Volunteering has always been a way of life for me, and I believe that it's everyone's obligation. A lot of people wait until they are older or have money, but there are so many small ways that you can give, which really adds up to a big give."
Giving Back Moment: I was a mentor to two brothers for two years. I spent pretty much every weekend with them. Seeing the changes that I helped develop in them was really rewarding, from something as simple as helping the older one with his basketball skills or the younger one with school. It became a really great friendship.
Food: Fried chicken and mashed potatoes
Movie: The Notebook
Type of Music/Artist: I always say I dance to anything—from country to pop to hip-hop.
Time of Day: I'm a morning person.
Indulgence: I'm such a food person. I love trying out new restaurants.
Vacation: When my dad took me to Holland for the tulip festival on my 12th birthday
Memory: Pick-up basketball games with my dad, sister and little brother or making cookies with my mom
Weekend Activity: I enjoy going to church on Sundays and spending time with my sister and my nephew, Max.