Miss Pearl River Valley
Hometown: Petal, MS
Talent: Classical Piano- “Tarantella” by Albert Pieczonka
What college did you attend, or are currently attending? The University of Southern Mississippi
What is your major? Broadcast Journalism
What is your scholastic ambition? Upon graduation, I hope to earn my B.A. in Broadcast Journalism with a double minor in Political Science and Spanish. My ultimate goal is to achieve this with the highest GPA possible while remaining involved and invested at the University of Southern Mississippi!
List scholastic honors: Dean’s List Fall 2015, Luckyday Scholar, USM Honor’s College 2015, Top 20 in 2015 Petal High School Graduating Class, 4.16 GPA in High School, AP Scholar
Greatest non-academic accomplishment: I was recently awarded “Most Outstanding New Greek Member of the Year” for the College Panhellenic Council at Southern Miss! This award was an honor to accept because so many accomplished women were in the running, and I was selected to humbly receive this annual distinction as a member of Delta Gamma!
What is your favorite style of music? Motown! There is no music like it.
What is your favorite movie genre and why? I really enjoy Romantic Comedies, but I’ve recently developed a love for Sci-Fi and Action/Adventure!
What is your favorite gadget? I rely on my MacBook Air for so much, so it would have to be my favorite and most valuable, especially as a college student!
What is your favorite blog? I actually have my own blog, “BoldlyBrooke,” which is my favorite because it’s a personal account of my own encounters, realizations, and relationship with God.
What is your favorite place to visit? There is no place like Washington, D.C. From its historical richness, to it’s beautiful city layout, I can’t help but love our nation’s Capitol! But Honolulu is a close second!
What is your favorite food? Bop’s Brownie a la Mode. It isn’t currently a part of my pageant prep diet, but it can’t be beat!
If you were on a deserted island, what book would you want with you? I would probably have a copy of “Killing Reagan” by Bill O’Reilly. Although it’s not a classic or a novel of great literary significance, it does tell of the life of President Ronald Reagan before and after his time as our nation’s Commander in Chief. He experienced trials and triumphs, but through it all, he developed himself as an individual and a great leader, which is one of the most inspiring messages for anyone, especially a contestant in the Miss America Organization.
Do you twitter? YES! I try to tweet everyday so people can really understand how bizarre my life can be at times. It’s a great form of expression, and I also keep up with current events through Twitter when I’m not able to watch the news.
What is your favorite?
Sport: Figure Skating. It might not be conventional, but if you’vetried to ice skate, you wouldn’t deny its athletic requirements!
Sports Team: Southern Miss Golden Eagle Football Team! SMTTT!
Actor: Chris Pratt. He is so down to earth, and his performances in “Jurassic World” and “Parks and Recreation” is top notch!
Actress: Patricia Heaton! She was on “Everybody Loves Raymond”, and she stars in “The Middle” on ABC! She’s also a Delta Gamma!
Television Program: “Golden Girls”
Wardrobe Accessory: My five pearl necklace!I wear it almost everyday.
Thing to do on a weekend: I love to explore and enjoy Hattiesburg on the weekends! I’ve been a Hattiesburg native my whole life, but there is always something exciting and new going on in the ‘Burg!
Way to spend a day off: I love to relax and nap whenever I get the chance, which is not very often! Usually, I watch a few episodes of “Frasier” or “Golden Girls”and then enjoy 2-3 hour naps. It truly is blissful.
What is your hometown like? My hometown of Petal is like no other. For me, it has shaped me into who I am and given me the tools to succeed in the little bit of the “adult world” that I’ve experienced so far. It is a small town with big accomplishments, earning top spots in academics, athletics, and the fine arts. It has so many wonderful small businesses and booming industries, and we are wrapped in Red and White from city limit to city limit. Go Panthers!
What were you like when you were a child? I was a very active and ambitious child who wanted to do everything! The ironic thing is my childhood compared to me now is not that different! I am still very active and involved, but I’ve definitely stepped out of my shell since childhood and developed a more outgoing and extroverted personality!
Who is the most influential person in your life? I would consider the University of Southern Mississippi to be the most influential “person” in my life! I have never learned so much in such a short amount of time than over the past eight months as a Golden Eagle. USM has pushed me to reach beyond my comfort zone and pursue opportunities that I would have never been given had I not chosen Southern Miss. The community based environment at USM has given me a home away from home with endless possibilities. All the love in my heart belongs to Southern Miss! SMTTT!
What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? Although I play the piano for my Miss Mississippi talent, I have actually danced longer and more often than I have played piano! I started taking dance when I was four years old and have never stopped. I’m actually a member of the Dixie Darlings at USM, and I am dance chair for my sorority!
Describe one defining moment in your own life, other than winning your local title: Receiving my bid to be a member and sister in Delta Gamma changed my life, although I didn’t realize it at the time. Among the excitement and anticipation of Recruitment, I wasn’t fully aware of the commitment and reward that my membership entailed, but I have recently been able to see all of the opportunities, connections, and lifelong friendships that I have been provided by receiving and accepting a bid to join the only Sorority founded in the state of Mississippi. With over 200,000 sisters worldwide, I know that being a Delta Gamma is an honor that very few get to experience, and I intend to “Do Good” in everything I do!
What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss America Program? “If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat these two imposters just the same…” This is a quote my dad has shared with me many times throughout my experience with the Miss America Organization. I competed in the Outstanding Teen pageant for four years and really learned how to accept defeat and victory with the same enthusiasm, because in the end, all that mattered was that I worked extremely hard and gave my all as a titleholder.
If you are crowned Miss Mississippi, what do you want to accomplish during your Year of Service? I want to represent my home state to the best of my ability and establish a connection in every area of Mississippi. As Miss Mississippi, the most vital aspect of my job would be to serve as an ambassador for the Hospitality State. With the constant negative connotation that surrounds our state, I look forward to disproving the harmful stereotypes and showing how accomplished and unique our state truly is. There is no other feeling like “coming home” as our state signs say, and I want to share that message with the rest of the world!
What is your secret wish or dream? I have always dreamed of being a Radio City Rockette! The precision and accuracy they dance with is mesmerizing, and I hope to attend a clinic to tryout in the near future!
I’m motivated by: My family. I could not imagine being able to accomplish the tasks I set before me without their support and encouragement. They are always there to bring me down to earth and highlight areas that need to be improved, but more importantly, they offer constant support and are always there to cheer me on, no matter what endeavor I pursue.
Is there a personal connection that made you pick your personal platform? My platform, #BandedInBlue, came about as my brother told me of all the concerns my hometown police department had amidst the recent tensions between police and the public. As chaplain of the Petal Police Department, he understood the need for a message to be shared that could help improve the relationship between communities and law enforcement, especially in the Hattiesburg area following the deaths of Officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate in May of 2015. This inspired me to create my platform and establish a voice that is seldom heard in today’s society. My goal for #BandedInBlue is to reach as many people, law enforcement and non-law enforcement alike, to build stronger communities by recognizing the positive impact police officers have on our communities, states, and country.
What do you think has been the most significant event in your lifetime? Although it did not directly happen to me, I’m strongly convicted that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were the most influential events in my lifetime. September 11, 2001 was and will always be a day that changed our nation’s course of history. Contrary to the belief of many, I feel that although tragic, 9/11 ultimately changed our country for the better. It reminded us of how resilient we are as a people and how the United States cannot be shaken by those who seek to inflict pain and suffering upon us. We will always be resilient and strong because we were founded upon the power of the people, and that cannot be taken away from us.
The one thing I can’t live without: Skim Milk. I never get to drink it when I’m at school, so every time I come home, I drink as much skim milk as I can!
My best friend would describe me as: Patriotic. Planner. Personable. I am very passionate about our Nation and the freedoms that we are able to enjoy. I love to plan and be organized in everything I do. And I try to relate to and understand everyone I meet!
Something interesting about my family: Both sides of my family have lived in Mississippi since before the Civil War. I take great pride in being a deep rooted Mississippian, and I am eager to represent my State in any capacity available to me!
Funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me: At the “Heart of Dallas Bowl” this past December, the Dixie Darlings were performing at half time, and while I was on the field, on national television, I forgot my choreography that I had known since August. It was only two or three seconds, but it felt like an eternity to me!
One thing I’d like to try that is out of character for me: My roommate and I have said that we will take a spontaneous trip to the Mississippi Gulf Coast before the year is over, which is very out of character for me because I am a planner, and I’m constantly worried about things I can’t control, like my surroundings!
Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and tell us their names: I have three Boxer dogs, and all of them are brother and sisters! My dad has bred and shown Boxers for about thirty years, so we have always had a champion Boxer as a part of our family! The three that I currently have are Michal, Maggie, and Mordi! They are all precious (sometimes), and I miss them terribly when I’m away at college.