They are graduates, students, aspiring lawyers, doctors, educators and business owners.
Forty-one young women from around the state have arrived in Vicksburg to compete for the title of Miss Mississippi 2014. We talked with them Sunday about what it means to represent their communities and hopefully their state at the Miss America Pageant.
Beginning bright and early Sunday morning contestants ended the July 4th holiday weekend at the Vicksburg Convention Center to sign in. This is the beginning of a week filled with rehearsals, judges and television interviews, and a competition for top scores in talent, swim wear, evening wear and on stage questions.
"What I always say whenever I'm coming is that I just want to do my best in every part of the competition", said Jessica Terrill, Miss North Central Mississippi.
"I competed in the teen division so I've been in Vicksburg pretty much every summer since I was 13", Jasmine Murray, Miss Riverland told us.
"I didn't make the Top 10 my first two years at Miss Mississippi. And then I made the Top 10 and ended up being the first runner up. So going from no Top 10 to first runner up was a really big jump for me", said Shelby Corn, Miss Delta Blues.
Returning from last year's Top 10, Jasmine Murray, Miss Riverland, Shelby Corn, Miss Delta Blues, and Jessica Terrill, Miss North Central Mississippi who is back for the 6th year. Along with 4th runner up, Caroline Connerly, Miss Deep South, Jordin Johnson, Miss Turtle Creek who was 3rd runner up, and 2nd runner up, Laura Lee Lewis, Miss Mississippi State University.
Laura Lee Lewis, Miss Mississippi State University said, "this organization looks at inner beauty. They look at who the person is and what she is doing for her community and for her state."
"Last year was my first year competing and I can't even explain to you how exciting it was to be called out as 3rd runner up", said Jordin Johnson, Miss Turtle Creek.
Miss Deep South, Caroline Connerly added, "this is my fifth time, four in a row and I have really been proud of my progression throughout the system. Because every year I've done a little bit more and a little bit more and a little bit more."
There are also 3 former winners of the Miss Mississippi Outstanding Teen Pageant. Jasmine Murray, Morgan Burnett, Miss Rankin County Southwest, and Laura Lee Lewis. Preliminary competition begins Wednesday Night. The annual parade of contestants will be held Monday night at 7 in Downtown Vicksburg.
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