The Rise of Lauren Boebert: From High School Drop-Out to Congresswoman

Lauren Boebert

Have you heard of Lauren Boebert? If not, you will soon. This 33-year-old firebrand from Rifle, Colorado just won her primary to become the Republican candidate in her district for the U.S. House of Representatives. And in this politically polarized time, she has a good shot at winning. Her ascendance from high school drop-out and teenage mother to the doorstep of Congress is a story of determination, passion, controversy, and the power of a compelling personal narrative.

Representative Lauren Boebert, a Republican from Colorado, during a joint meeting of Congress with Israeli President Isaac Herzog at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, July 19, 2023. Herzog is delivering an address to Congress at a fraught time between the Jewish state and its longest ally, aiming to smooth relations inflamed over the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-leaning coalition. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Love her or hate her, you have to admit Boebert is a force of nature. She didn’t let a lack of formal education stop her from starting a restaurant, leading a gun-rights organization, or knocking out a five-term incumbent. Her brash, confrontational style thrills supporters and outrages opponents in equal measure. But there’s no denying she has a gift for capturing attention and igniting debate. If she wins in November, Boebert is poised to become a high-profile voice for gun rights and strict immigration policy in Congress. However you feel about her politics, you have to respect her journey. The question is, where will that journey lead next? One thing we know for sure—it’s going to be a wild ride.

Early Life: Dropping Out and GED

Lauren Boebert didn’t have the most traditional start in life. She dropped out of high school during her senior year after getting pregnant at 17. Instead of graduating, she earned her GED.

  • After having her first child, Boebert worked a series of waitressing jobs to make ends meet as a young, single mother. She didn’t come from wealth or privilege, so she hustled to provide for her family.
  • In her early 20s, Boebert opened her own restaurant, Shooters Grill, in Rifle, Colorado. The staff openly carry firearms, following Boebert’s staunch support of gun rights. She’s a proud gun owner herself.
  • Despite her nontraditional path, Boebert showed determination and grit. She built a successful small business from the ground up, all while raising four sons with her husband, Jayson. Her story resonates with everyday Americans who value hard work, family, and personal freedom.

Boebert’s rise from a high school dropout to a Congresswoman in just over a decade is a uniquely American story. She didn’t follow the standard playbook, but through resolve and fighting for her core values, she earned the trust of voters. While her policy positions and rhetoric polarize some, her perseverance in the face of obstacles inspires others.

Love her or disagree with her stances, Lauren Boebert’s ascent proves that in America, there are second chances and opportunities for people from all backgrounds to achieve great things. With passion and tenacity, you can start from little and get elected to Congress, even without a traditional degree or career path. Boebert’s story gives hope that the American Dream is still alive for those willing to work for it.

Working as a Waitress and Meeting Her Husband

Working as a waitress in Rifle, Colorado, Lauren met the man who would become her husband, Jayson Boebert. Jayson, who had dropped out of high school himself, was a roughneck in the oil fields. The two connected over their shared experiences struggling in the rural West.

By 23, Lauren was pregnant with their first son, Tyler. Shortly after Tyler was born, Lauren obtained her GED. She went on to enroll in cosmetology school while continuing to waitress to support her young family.

Life was difficult, but Lauren and Jayson were determined to build a better future. They worked hard and saved money to open their own restaurant, Shooters Grill, in 2013. Lauren took charge of daily operations at Shooters, gaining valuable business experience that would serve her well in politics.

In 2015, Lauren gave birth to her second son, Jaxon. By then, she had cultivated a large social media following and become an outspoken advocate for gun rights and conservative values. Her fame grew in the coming years through appearances on Fox News and other media outlets.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Lauren refused to close Shooters, defying shutdown orders. Her defiance earned widespread attention and support from those who viewed the restrictions as government overreach. Riding a wave of publicity, Lauren launched a bid for Congress in Colorado’s 3rd district. Despite a shoestring budget and establishment skepticism, she pulled off a major upset in the Republican primary, defeating a five-term incumbent.

Against all odds, the high school dropout turned restaurateur and mother of two had made it to the national stage. Lauren’s rise from humble beginnings to the halls of Congress on her own terms proved an inspiration to many. For better or worse, a star of the populist right was born.

Owning Shooters Grill Restaurant in Rifle, Colorado

In 2010, Lauren Boebert opened Shooters Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado where all the waitstaff openly carry firearms. This unique concept gained national attention and significantly boosted Boebert’s public profile.

The Origin of Shooters Grill

Boebert and her husband Jayson had always dreamed of opening their own restaurant. Both strong supporters of the Second Amendment, they decided to incorporate their passion for firearms into the business. At Shooters Grill, customers are greeted by waitstaff carrying loaded handguns in holsters. The staff have all gone through firearm safety and training.

The restaurant’s concept was polarizing, gaining both passionate supporters and ardent critics. However, the controversial theme attracted curious diners from all over the country and even internationally. Within a few years of opening, Shooters Grill had become a popular tourist destination, with customers flocking to experience the novelty of an open-carry theme.

Rising to Fame

In 2013, Boebert appeared on the cover of Woman’s Day magazine, thrusting her into the national spotlight. She began making appearances on major news networks defending her staunch pro-gun stance. Supporters saw Boebert as a champion of gun rights and the Second Amendment, while critics argued she was promoting irresponsible gun culture.

Nonetheless, the increased media attention brought more and more customers to Shooters Grill. Boebert leveraged her newfound fame to become an outspoken activist, founding pro-gun advocacy group called “The Well-Armed Woman”. She traveled around the U.S. to speak at gun rights rallies.

By the mid-2010s, Lauren Boebert had risen from a high school dropout to a nationally recognized pro-gun figure and business owner. Her experience running Shooters Grill would later prove valuable in launching her political career. The unconventional theme and Boebert’s fierce personality were a recipe for success in gaining notoriety and influence.

Running for Congress and Defeating Scott Tipton

In 2020, Lauren Boebert did what many thought was impossible—she defeated a five-term incumbent congressman to represent Colorado’s 3rd district. Running as a political outsider, Boebert beat Republican Scott Tipton in the primary election before going on to win the general election. Her grassroots campaign focused on conservative values like gun rights, limiting government overreach, and supporting Trump’s “America First” agenda.

Boebert’s victory stunned political commentators. A high school dropout and mother of four, Boebert had never held political office. She was the owner of Shooters Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado where staff open carry firearms. Boebert’s lack of political experience seemed an insurmountable barrier, yet her message of freedom and less government regulation resonated with voters.

Leading up to the primary, Boebert challenged Tipton’s conservative credentials, accusing him of not fully supporting Trump and being too willing to compromise with Democrats. She argued Tipton had “gone soft” during his ten years in Washington. Boebert’s pro-gun stance gained national attention, including an appearance on Fox & Friends. She positioned herself as a champion of liberty who would “fight for our freedoms and stand up for our rights.”

When primary results were announced, Boebert had won nearly 55% of the vote, defeating Tipton by over 9 points. Her surprising victory was a warning to establishment Republicans that the far-right wing of the party could no longer be ignored. In the general election, Boebert went on to defeat Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush, cementing her status as a rising star in conservative politics.

Against all odds, Boebert achieved her goal of being a Congresswoman who will stand up for citizen’s rights and promote Republican values. Though lacking political experience, Boebert resonated with voters through her message of freedom and anti-establishment populism. Her primary defeat of Scott Tipton stunned the nation and marked a victory for the far-right in the battle for the soul of the Republican party.

Controversies and Fiery Rhetoric in Congress

Once in Congress, Boebert wasted no time making headlines for her controversial statements and confrontational approach. She came out swinging against the establishment, vowing to carry her gun in the Capitol and taunting security.

Fiery Rhetoric

Boebert’s rhetoric has been described as “inflammatory” and “dangerous”. She has made Islamophobic comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar, tweeting “the Jihad Squad member from Minnesota has got to go”. She has also pushed conspiracy theories about Democrats, claiming they want “full-term, nine-month abortions” and will “take away your hamburgers”.

Boebert’s rhetoric and showboating have led to criticism from both sides of the aisle. Her antics are seen as a distraction by some Republicans trying to advance policy goals. Democrats argue her false and dangerous claims are damaging to political discourse and trust in institutions.


Boebert has gotten into heated confrontations with Capitol security over her insistence on carrying a gun in the building. She has tried to make it a symbolic fight for gun rights, though many see it as a pointless provocation that undermines security.

In her first weeks in office, Boebert also got into a shouting match with Capitol Police after setting off metal detectors installed after the January 6 attack. She refused to comply with new screening rules, seeing them as government overreach. Her behavior was labeled an “embarrassment” by leaders of both parties.

Boebert’s time in Congress so far shows she is determined to cause controversy and pick fights with her political opponents as well as establishment institutions like the Capitol Police. Her “Wild West” approach may endear her to staunch supporters, but risks alienating others and impeding bipartisan policymaking. Only time will tell if her rhetorical bomb-throwing will ultimately help or hurt her political ambitions.


So that’s the story of Lauren Boebert, the woman who dropped out of high school at 17 to start a family, eventually built a restaurant business from the ground up, and found her way to the halls of Congress. Her rise has been nothing short of meteoric. Say what you will about her politics or approach, but you have to admire her determination and grit. She’s living proof that in America, anything is possible if you have a vision, work hard, and never give up. Her story should inspire all of us to dream big, take risks, and make our voices heard. After all, if a high school dropout from Rifle, Colorado can make it to Washington, DC, just imagine what you can achieve if you put your mind to it. The sky’s the limit.

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