"It's a lot of fun," said LaRoche, a Bay City native. "It's everything I had anticipated it would be and more."
The days have been long for LaRoche and the 52 other contestants in the 90th Miss America Pageant. Daily engagements and routine practice often call for 12- to 14-hour days leading up to the pageant, which airs Saturday at 9 p.m. on ABC.
"Every day's a little different, but it's pretty busy," LaRoche said. "We start at about 7 in the morning with breakfast and then we have rehearsals all day long."
On Friday, the pageant took the contestants to a Barry Manilow show and arranged for them to meet the star singer, LaRoche said.
Contestants have also taken part in a fashion show and a commercial shoot for Audi.
LaRoche also had a personal interview with Amway, a Miss America Pageant sponsor she particularly appreciates.
"They're based in Michigan, so they're a sponsor that I really respect," she said. "They actually supply me with all of my makeup and vitamins. It's a really cool group of people."
On Monday, LaRoche and the other contestants completed their interview portion of the pageant, which accounts for 25 percent of each contestant's final score.
The interview generally consists of judges questioning contestants on current events and political issues.
LaRoche said she enjoyed her interview and was honored to partake with the judges, whom she deemed "very accomplished people."
But LaRoche's mindset is to move forward and not to dwell on the past.
"After I'm done with each phase of competition I kind of just block it out and move on to the next one," she said.
Tomorrow entails the pageant's talent portion, wherein LaRoche will perform a contemporary dance symbolic of her journey coming to learn of the impoverished, less fortunate circumstances many around the world live in and what she can do to better the problem.
LaRoche founded One World. One Future., a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of and actively combating human trafficking in the United States and around the world — her platform.
And in what seems to be a perfect bit of poetic justice, LaRoche will perform her dance on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
"It's a pretty sweet coincidence that I'm performing my talent on that day," she said.
Overall, LaRoche is thoroughly enjoying her Miss America Pageant experience, she said, due in part to her fellow contestants.
"It's a jam-packed schedule but it's a lot of fun," she said. "The girls are really cool. Everyone's very down to earth, very kind and there's a lot of camaraderie in the group."