Laura Lee Lewis

Miss Dixie

Hometown: Brookhaven, MS

Platform:       Mentoring Matters

Talent:           Vocal

What college did you attend, or are currently attending? Mississippi State University (MSU)

What is your major? Elementary Education: Emphasis Mathematics and Science

What is your scholastic ambition? After obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, I plan to immediately pursue a Master of Education degree in Secondary Education with concentrations in the critical areas of mathematics and science. My formal educational process will be completed with a doctoral degree in Educational Administration.

List scholastic honors: MSU President’s List; Golden Key (top 15% of class); National Society of Collegiate Scholars; Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society; Montgomery Leadership Nominee; 6 Leadership scholarships; Special Honors Graduate – Brookhaven High School.

Greatest non-academic accomplishment: Being Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen 2009.

What is your favorite style of music? The soundtrack of my life is very diverse, so you’ll find everything from Beethoven to Bruno Mars in my iTunes library.

What is your favorite movie genre and why? The films and musicals from the Golden Age of Hollywood really resonate with me, particularly those starring Gene Kelly, my favorite performer from that era.

What is your favorite gadget? Kindle Fire

What is your favorite blog? I love the blog Oliviarink.com that is about beautiful southern fashion.

What is your favorite place to visit? I’m relatively easy to please – just find me a beach anywhere, so I can put my toes in the sand!

What is your favorite food?         A crisp Fuji apple, with a spoon full of creamy peanut butter.

If you were on a deserted island, what book would you want with you? 100 Ways to Survive on a Deserted Island.

Do you twitter? I do. Follow me, @lauraleelewisss and I will follow you back!

What is your favorite?

Sport:            Olympic Gymnastics                 Sports Team:     MSU Baseball

Actor: Hugh Jackman                     Actress:        Meryl Streep

Television Program: Diners, Drive-ins and Dives

Wardrobe Accessory: My Grandmother’s ring.

Thing to do on a weekend: Day trips to New Orleans for the French Quarter and beignets.

Way to spend a day off: Catching up on the latest Once Upon A Time episodes.

What is your hometown like? Much like our community’s motto, it is a “Home seeker’s Paradise.”

What were you like when you were a child? As a child, I was very curious and adventurous. Music was a big part of my childhood identity – you could always find me singing.

Who is the most influential person in your life? My elementary principal, Ms. Fearn, pushed me to believe in myself and pursue my dreams – something she continues to do to this day. Her perspective changed my life and I am the person I have become because of her involvement and encouragement.

What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? Star Wars fan, I am.

Describe one defining moment in your own life, other than winning your local title: During my senior year in high school, a person who had bullied me since the fifth grade approached me. He apologized, and said, “I wish I could be like you. Will you help me to be a better person?” In that moment, I was validated in my choice to focus on the content of my character rather than my appearance. It also taught me a valuable lesson: that there is always good in people, even if they make bad choices.

What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss America Program? I have a powerful voice to speak on issues and influence others.

If you are crowned Miss Mississippi, what do you want to accomplish during your Year of Service? I want to inspire people to be of service to others. Becoming Miss Mississippi will provide me with greater access and opportunity to leave a positive impact on Mississippi.

What is your secret wish or dream? I want to be “The Narrator” in the Broadway musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

I’m motivated by: Children motivate me because they are so eager to learn. My generation motivates me because we are eager to make a difference.

Is there a personal connection that made you pick your personal platform? We are all familiar with aquariums: where you watch beautiful fish swim.  In elementary school and through high school many times I felt that I watched my friends and peers swim and feel beautiful – because they looked like themselves and were pleased with what they saw.  Although many of my peers may have had the same insecurities, to me, they showed no imperfections.  You see, I was disfigured and felt not just like an unwelcome fish, but completely out of the aquarium.  I didn’t fit in.  I felt ugly, invisible, and alone.  But I wasn’t alone; there were people who wanted to help.  My principal noticed and spent time with me – encouraging me to look beyond how I felt and see my own potential.  She lit the spark in my heart, which started a fire in me at a young age to seek excellence through hard work.  So, you can see how I developed a strong love for children, education and the empowerment of mentoring.  This led to the creation of my platform Mentoring Matters.

What do you think has been the most significant event in your lifetime? Looking in the mirror after my reconstructive surgery.

The one thing I can’t live without:         Chapstick

My best friend would describe me as: I hope she would list the same qualities that I find in her: loyal, real, loveable, and loving.

Something interesting about my family: We like to play card games, most importantly Liverpool Rummy championships.

Funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me:   “Epic Veil Fail:” When my sister got married I was the Maid of Honor and wanted to do my job perfectly. My dad accidentally tripped on her veil and knocked it off across the aisle. So, doing my Maid of Honor duty, not only did I have to put the veil back on, I did it wrong and had to redo it three times.

One thing I’d like to try that is out of character for me: I’d love to be the next Chopped champion.

Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and tell us their names:  My rescued cat, Jimmy, and my dog, Charlotte.