Miss Leaf River Valley
Hometown: Hattiesburg, MS
Platform: The A.R.T.$. – A Road To Success
Talent: Vocal Performance
What college did you attend, or are currently attending?The University of Mississippi
What is your major? Integrated Marketing Communications
What is your scholastic ambition? To continue to graduate school and work in public relations.
List scholastic honors: Honors graduate, Leadership scholarship
Greatest non-academic accomplishment: Creation of “Artie”. A statewide mascot and arts ambassador!
What is your favorite style of music? The blues! I love kicking back and getting lost in a little soul music (it is my favorite genre to sing too!”
What is your favorite movie genre and why? Action! I secretly wish to be a Bond girl!
What is your favorite gadget? My favorite gadgets are KITCHEN gadgets! I love to grill, so I would be lost without my grilling gear!
What is your favorite blog? thestudyabroadblog.com
What is your favorite place to visit? I love to visit Europe in general, but my favorite place is Italy! I visited the arts communities of Venice, Florence, Milan, and Rome and had an amazing experience.
What is your favorite food? Dill pickle sunflower seeds, pickles and pickled okra! All things pickled!
If you were on a deserted island, what book would you want with you?Dispatches From Pluto (because I would be missing home and it is about Mississippi, “America’s best kept secret!”)
Do you twitter? #ofcourse
What is your favorite?
Sport: Football Sports Team:Ole Miss Rebels! Hotty Toddy!
Actor: Matthew McConaughey Actress: Kate Hudson
Television Program: Three’s Company
Wardrobe Accessory: Leather jacket
Thing to do on a weekend: Take a trip to Oxford, MS and hike up to Thacker Mountain radio tower or walk around Rowan Oak, the beautiful home of William Faulkner.
Way to spend a day off: Add to my Pinterest boards, watch countless episodes of Grey’s Anatomy or read a good book while drinking an almond milk, hazelnut latte.
What is your hometown like? My hometown is a university town filled with business professionals, artists, philanthropists, sports enthusiasts, and wonderful familes! You can take in a show at the historic Saeger Theatre, attend a book signing by a Mississippi author, visit Festival South, shop in great boutiques, or walk on the wild side at our fantastic zoo!
What were you like when you were a child? My favorite pastimes were creating artwork out of every kind of medium, pretending I was a spy, and singing Do Re Mi from the Sound of Music! I also constantly made a piggy sound that I can still make today.
Who is the most influential person in your life? Emma Watson is an incredible role model, especially for my generation. She is a strong activist for women’s rights. And after being appointed a UN Goodwill Ambassador, Emma helped launch the UN Women campaign, HeForShe, which calls for men to advocate gender equality. As a woman living in today’s society, I appreciate Emma’s strength and the movement that she describes by saying, “How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feels welcome to participate in the conversation?”
What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? I am really goofy. I love to make people laugh, and I enjoy doing silly things such as my imitation of an ostrich running just to brighten someone’s day. We have to be able to laugh at ourselves and bring a smile to others!
Describe one defining moment in your own life, other than winning your local title: I believe that people are defined by what they do off camera. I think that some of my life’s most defining moments have been when I’ve had a opportunity to provide a child with free art lessons or deliver Christmas gifts to needy families.
What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss America Program? I have learned self-discipline and step out of my comfort zone. Anything is possible with hard work and heart.
If you are crowned Miss Mississippi, what do you want to accomplish during your Year of Service? I plan to transform the arts experience for children in America through academic programming, performing possibilities, and active mentorship. My goal is to serve as a national catalyst for promoting the arts as a social, economic, and therapeutic agent of change.
What is your secret wish or dream? My secret dream is to fight crime as an FBI agent or become the first Secretary of the Arts.
I’m motivated by: A deep desire for success.
Is there a personal connection that made you pick your personal platform? Yes, the arts have made a tremendous impact on my life and I want to share my love of the arts with others. I have always been able to relate to the arts in times of happiness, grief, and disaster. Even the tornado that hit my hometown offered an opportunity for healing via the arts.
What do you think has been the most significant event in your lifetime? My sister’s birth has been a significant event in my life. I could not imagine a single day without my loving “Mini Me”, who is eleven years younger than I am.
The one thing I can’t live without: Memories, creativity and music. Material objects disappear but these things remain when all else is gone.
My best friend would describe me as: Loyal, caring, edgy, daring, and passionate with a spunky soul!
Something interesting about my family: My grandfather was a country music singer with a song hitting the top of the charts. He also owned a radio station and at one time booked Elvis Presley, who spent the night at his house.
Funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me: In 8th grade I forgot the words to a duet on stage at my Christmas program!
One thing I’d like to try that is out of character for me: Surfing in California because I have heard that the waves are “Totally gnarly, Dude!”
Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and tell us their names: I have a Maltese puppy named Sugar Chanel Swan who is the apple of my eye and the CEO of the Swan Clan.