Most of us enjoy the glitz and glamour of the Miss Mississippi Pageant. But there is a story behind every crown and some of the serious issues the contestants promote.
Jade Dalton, Miss Central Mississippi is from Flora. She attends Hinds Community College and plans to attend law school. Her future looks bright now, but as a teenager, Dalton says she was trapped by drug addiction.
"I was probably 15. When I was in high school I got involved with the wrong crowd. I had a lot of stuff going on in my life," said Dalton. "I think what most addicts don't realize is when, you know, I had those first few hits off of a blunt, that it would turn into a problem for me."
Dalton admits from drug abuse to a pageant is a big stretch but her story is one of hope that she wants to spread.
"I actually dropped out of high school and attained my GED, so I didn't have as many scholarship options as a lot of other students did," Dalton told us. "So I thought it was a great way for me to get school money and be glamorous doing it".
Miss Metro Jackson, Taylor Cos is from Hoover, Alabama. She attends the University of Mississippi. Cos is hoping to help with efforts in this state to stop texting and driving.
"When I was a junior in high school I had just gotten my driver's license and I had a really close friend of mine get killed in a car accident where the driver was texting and driving," Cos explained.
Cos says wearing the crown of Miss Mississippi is not about attention for yourself but bringing attention to important issues that impact lives.
"I never want anybody to go through what I did especially at such a young age, I mean she was only 15, she was a sophomore in high school, and it just, it devastated our whole community," said Cos. "So I want to be an advocate to make sure nobody ever has to go through that."
Wednesday is the first night of preliminary competition and 3 former Miss Mississippi Outstanding Teens will be performing. Morgan Burnett, Miss Rankin County Southwest will dance, Jasmine Murray, Miss Riverland and Laura Lee Lewis, Miss Mississippi State University will both sing.
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