Stephanie Stanford, Miss Mississippi State University
Jessica Terrill, Miss Historic South
More than $100,000 will be awarded to the contestants at this year's Miss Mississippi pageant. Some of them plan to attend law or medical school, earn master's degrees or PhDs.
All of them say participating in the pageant is part of their education. They also hope to win the crown to promote what they say are crucial issues that impact all of us.
The Miss Mississippi pageant has long required contestants to be involved in their communities. The Miss America organization works very closely with the Children's Miracle Network. But the contestants we talked with say they didn't just pick up the causes they work with to compete at Miss Mississippi.
"This pageant allows me the opportunity to really get the word out there and speak to people about preventing childhood obesity. I had an opportunity to speak alongside First Lady Michelle Obama," said Chassidy Sumler, Miss Madison County.
"I go into elementary schools and talk about my program 'Power Pals' which implements three elements I believe make up a healthy lifestyle, which is a powerful mind, a powerful body and a powerful spirit," Anna Beth Higginbotham, Miss Heartland said.
Kayla Snow, Miss University, says it boils down to wanting to serve.
"My family has been through two tornadoes and each time Mississippi has come together to help my family get back on their feet both times and I am so passionate about our state because of that," said Snow.
Stephanie Stanford, Miss Mississippi State University, says an experience at a marathon changed her life.
"Amid the race, a man fell out and had heart attack, literally died on the scene," Stanford said.
She now volunteers and says it helped her decide on a career.
"So I do want to go to med school and I even looked into cardiology. It's something that really speaks to me personally," said Stanford.
Miss Historic South, Jessica Terrill is back for the fourth year. She says the pageant has taught her the importance of being resilient.
"I had some health issues last year so I was kinda off, and I finally feel like myself again, and I finally feel excited," Terrill said.
The contestants say they can't wait to discuss their platforms with judges. They say the greatest power of the crown is to be able to give back and serve the people of Mississippi on an even greater level.
Tuesday, December 10 2013 8:22 PM EST2013-12-11 01:22:11 GMT
Hinds County sheriff's deputies broke up a drug operation and drug agents arrested eight men Monday at a home on Willaneel Drive in Jackson. During a search of the property, they uncovered about oneMore >>
Hinds County sheriff's deputies broke up a drug operation and drug agents arrested eight men Monday at a home on Willaneel Drive in Jackson.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 3:44 PM EST2013-12-10 20:44:53 GMT
Picketing Jackson Public School bus drivers Tuesday morning say the first of two negotiation meetings with Superintendent Cedrick Gray fell flat. The superintendent met with drivers at the south busMore >>
A sources tell us that Jackson Public School officials have begun meeting with school bus transportation companies that service surrounding school districts. More than half of JPS drivers are off the job and protesting. JPS drivers are employed by JPS. More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 11:54 PM EST2013-12-11 04:54:32 GMT
(RNN) - Gil Brandt of NFL.com and ESPN radio host Paul Finebaum are reporting that Alabama's Nick Saban is in contract negotiations with the university for a contract extension that would pay him $7 millionMore >>
Reports are swirling that Alabama football coach Nick Saban has a contract extension on his desk from Alabama. Meanwhile, conflicting reports coming from Texas say that coach Mack Brown may be on his way out this week. More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 8:32 PM EST2013-12-11 01:32:09 GMT
Prosecutors have begun calling witnesses in a murder trial where the victim died after being run over by a car. Jeycob England was arrested in July of 2011, for the murder of 23 year old Scotty Ford.More >>
Prosecutors have begun calling witnesses in a murder trial where the victim died after being run over by a car. Jeycob England was arrested in July of 2011, for the murder of 23 year old Scotty Ford. More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 9:28 AM EST2013-12-10 14:28:57 GMT
Social media, and online videos could provide answers in the murder of a Wingfield High School Freshman. Destinee Ford died after being shot once in the chest last Thursday. The fatal shooting happenedMore >>
Social media, and online videos could provide answers in the murder of a Wingfield High School Freshman. Destinee Ford died after being shot once in the chest last Thursday. The fatal shooting happened just off campus, when school let out.More >>