Lindley Mayer is the current Miss South Carolina United States 2016 and she has always had a special place in her heart for giving back. She founded her non-profit (501c3) organization called L.A.D.Y Bugs Across America; Lindley’s Alliance for Disabled Youth in 2005 in honor of her two special needs siblings and enjoys making a difference in the community. Lindley has also danced for 23 years and moved to Los Angeles after high school to pursue her dancing and acting careers. She has been able to perform on projects such as; GLEE, The Oscar’s with Host Seth MacFarlane, Bunheads on ABC Family, America’s Got Talent, Victorious and performing for Lady Antebellum for the American Country Music Awards. She most recently worked on the Dirty Dancing remake for ABC which will be airing in the fall. She loves the outdoors, South Carolina football, ladybugs, Audrey Hepburn and anything Kate Spade!
Hometown: Greenville, SC
Current City: Greenville, SC
Hobbies: Dancing, Acting, Modeling, Fitness, Philanthropy, Volunteering
Favorite food: Any of my dads Southern cooking!
Favorite movie: The Notebook and Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Three words that sum you up: Persistent, Passionate, Ambitious
Song you have on repeat right now: “Time of My Life” -Dirty Dancing
Dream job: Play Audrey Hepburn in a remake of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Beauty product you can’t live without: Bare Minerals bronzer
Favorite quote: “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, and one for helping others.” -Audrey Hepburn
Having a title must keep you pretty busy! What is a typical day like for you? A typical day for me is never “typical.” I like to keep things moving and stay busy and I always have something new I am working on. From planning a charity golf tournament to dancing to volunteering there is always something new to keep me busy and that’s how I love it.
What has been the highlight of being Miss South Carolina so far? Since being crowned Miss South Carolina United States, my life has been blessed in so many ways. I have gained new friends and directors that have become like family. Making memories with them this year is something I will cherish forever. The highlight of my year so far aside from that has been all of the incredible people I have been able to meet. I have made connections that have helped spread my platform and raise awareness for special needs youth and that makes my heart smile. Meeting a little girl or student who looks up to you and can learn something from you is what this is all about and I am thankful for each person I have met along the way.
What are some of your best beauty secrets to looking flawless all the time? I try to get as much rest as possible but sometimes when you are on the go as much as we are that isn’t always an option. So I have certain products that I use like my Glamoflauge concealer, Bare Minerals bronzer and of course my organic spray tans by Brandi at The Browning Studio always helps me keep a sun kissed glow.
Growing up, who was your inspiration? My inspiration has always been my two younger siblings, Brock and Brantley. Because of my siblings intellectual and physical disabilities, the doctors told my family that they would never walk, talk, or be of normal size or ability. They bring light to my life every single day and have taught me the importance of staying strong, being brave through times of adversity, and living each day to the fullest. This inspired me to create my non-profit organization to raise awareness, funds and hope for children like my siblings. Lindley’s Alliance for Disabled Youth is a constantly growing group of individuals who go above and beyond to promote inclusion and respect for these courageous kids. A few of the most inspirational moments were watching my brother, who was told he would never walk, RUN the 50 yard dash at the Special Olympics and seeing my sister light the torch to kick off this special day among the other 1300 athletes. Seeing them shine and realizing that being a voice for them has truly made a difference in the lives of others makes me very proud.
Lady Code has a focus on anti-bullying and women empowerment. Do you have any advice for our readers who may be victims of bullying? Always remember that pulling someone down will never help you reach the top. I created an educational campaign called “Change Your Words, Change The World” to educate young people on the importance of treating people with kindness and respect. It all began one day in middle school when I overheard a boy from my class using hurtful words towards a younger boy – a disabled student sitting at another lunch table with the special education class. The bully was mimicking the boy, grunting to imitate the non-verbal sounds the boy was making and he laughed hysterically as he put on a show in front of all of our classmates. I could feel my cheeks burning and I blinked back tears. As usual, I sat there feeling embarrassed, hurt and confused, alone with my dream that one day the world would be a different place where things like this didn’t happen. But for some reason, on that particular day, something new welled up from deep inside of me and I stood up. “That boy,” I said as calmly as I could, “may be different, but he is my brother and his name is Brock.” From that point forward I made a decision to take a stand against these bullies. Show them that everyone is different in their own way and to treat others how they would want to be treated.
Tell us about your platform: I am the proud sister of two siblings who are considered “different” because of their intellectual and physical disabilities stemming from Fanconi Syndrome. This is why I founded my non-profit organization of Lindley’s Alliance for Disabled Youth. I hand paint “lucky” river rocks into L.A.D.Y. Bugs and customize them in return for donations to my charity. Lindley’s Alliance was chosen as a part of the Nationwide Kay Jeweler’s Open Heart Campaign with Jane Seymour and was featured with one of the founders of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH), Marie Osmond. Since its inception, we have been able to raise over $100,000 through Lindley’s Alliance and the funds raised through my non-profit benefit children with special needs in the community and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the Nation.
What can Lady Code readers do in their communities to get involved? There are always different ways to become involved with events in your community. Find something you are passionate about and do some research to see where volunteers may be needed, funds need to be raised, or where you can lend a helping hand. For Lindley’s Alliance, we have events each year that can be found on our website. We are always in need of volunteers to help paint the L.A.D.Y Bugs and create new designs for our donors. Look within your school, church, or other civic organizations to find out how you can make a difference in your community.
In your free time, what do you enjoy doing? Free time is not something that comes around very often so when it does I love to spend time with my friends and family. These are the people who keep me going and who have shaped me into the person that I am today. I love being able to spend a day just relaxing with the people I love most.
What is your go-to makeup look? I LOVE a good smokey eye look. I think its important to always have one staple eye palette that you take everywhere with you. I’m a big fan of signature looks and finding which look suits me best. I love to really make my eyes pop for my fancy evenings and appearances.
What is one thing you can’t live without? My planner. I use my Lily Pulitzer planner each and everyday to keep up with my very busy schedule. I know it is old fashioned to still write things down but it definitely helps keep me organized.
What is the hardest part about competing in pageants? The hardest part about competing in pageants is believing in who you are and trusting your preparation. It is so easy to work yourself up and start comparing yourself to others when you arrive for the competition. I tell girls all of the time that it is not a competition between you and the other girls competing; it is you and yourself. I have finally learned to trust that whatever is supposed to happen will happen and all I can do is work my hardest and give 110% towards my preparation. The rest should just be fun!
What is the best part about competing in pageants? The best part about competing in pageants is the growth that you see as a contestant. I have learned so much about myself and been able to share my passions with so many people along the way. It gives you so many opportunities to make a difference for others while pursuing the career you are passionate about.
What is the best advice you have ever received? “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” Too often we get trapped thinking we have to do things, because that’s what others do or because that’s what’s expected of us! I like to wake up and LOVE what I do. It is important to take ownership for your health, your family, your relationships, but most of all for YOU and what makes you happy!
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