It has barely been a week since 20 year old Mary Margaret Roark won the Miss Mississippi title. The junior at Mississippi State University says she will take a year away from her studies as she represents this state at the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas.
It is the moment she has dreamed of since she was a little girl. Taking the runway at the Vicksburg Convention Center as Miss Mississippi.
"When it happened , I just almost couldn't believe it was real and it was happening so fast, and I was trying to absorb every single moment. But it was just, it was flashing before me faster than I could even understand but this dream had finally become a reality", said Mary Margaret Roark, Miss Mississippi 2011.
Roark first competed in the state system in Miss Mississippi's Outstanding Teen competition.
"This year actually six out of our top 10 had participated in the Miss Mississippi Outstanding Teen Pageant. So that is the ultimate proof that the Outstanding Teen pageant prepares you for Miss Mississippi", Roark said.
She says the experience in that pageant motivated her to compete for Miss Mississippi. Her first year, in 2010 she made the Top 10 and won a swimwear preliminary. This year she won again in the swimwear preliminary.
"I just try to maintain healthy living, making sure I eat right. Everything that goes into my body needs to be healthy and serve a purpose, making sure that whether it is as simple as taking a 30 minute walk or running several miles I make sure I do something active every day", said Roark.
Monday morning at the Miss Mississippi pageant office she completed the Miss America contract and other paperwork to represent this state. She says preparation is already underway for the national competition in January.
"Serving Mississippi will be a priority for me but the ultimate goal here is to bring home that Miss America crown, so I can't wait to get started", Roark said.
Roark is a President's List scholar at Mississippi State. She says she will use the 10 thousand dollar scholarship to continue her education and to pursue a law degree. Roark will spend the rest of the week in Vicksburg preparing for Miss America. After all the paperwork is completed she will begin work on wardrobe, talent and she says swimwear.
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