The first night of preliminary competition at the Miss Mississippi pageant in Vicksburg gets underway Wednesday night. Contestants who win in talent over the next three nights will win a $300 scholarship, winners in swimsuit $200. And, Wednesday night's winners were: Miss West Central Breanne Ponder in Swimwear and Miss Mississippi State Stephanie Stanford in Talent.
All of the 42 contestants at the Miss Mississippi pageant have big plans for their future.
"I actually want to do cosmetics. I have been promised, fingers crossed, an internship my junior or senior year like that summer to work with Es De Lauder," said Kimberly Page, Miss Deep South.
"I really made a decision more so in college. Just being a biochemistry major, it kind of led me more so to that field, so I decided to pursue a career in pharmacy," said Miss University Kayla Snow.
"My mother has fibromyalgia, and so growing up with her and dealing with the quality of life detriment that comes along and the spiritual detriment that comes along with living in chronic pain, it really inspired me to pursue medicine," said Chelsea Rick, Miss Natchez Trace.
On the final night of competition, swimsuit will count for 20 percent of the contestants' scores, 20 percent for evening wear and talent will count 30 percent. They will also receive a composite score from the judges interview and on stage question of 30 percent. Many hope they will get the opportunity to discuss their platform.
"I'm the daughter of a basketball coach so we moved around and I worked with a third grade group of students and out of thirty students, over half could hardly read at all," said Jessica Terrill, Miss Historic South.
"I'm an entrepreneur so my personal business is called Krown Keepers, and that's spelt with K's so it's into pageant consultancy because pageantry is what moves me," said Kennitra Thompson, Miss Metro Jackson.
"I love kids so much. You just play with them and you try to get them to forget that there's a cast on their foot or they have to go in for chemo tomorrow or just any one of the things that's plaguing them. I could have very easily been one of those kids who's in and out of the hospital all the time," said Ariel Cheng, Miss Madison.
The new Miss Mississippi will be crowned Saturday night and will go on to represent this state at the Miss America pageant in January.
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