Miss Southern Grace’s Outstanding Teen
Hometown: Brandon, MS
Hobbies: Singing, Modeling, Drawing, Dancing
School: Brandon High School
Scholastic Ambition: To obtain a degree at a university
Scholastic Honors: Beta, Leadership Award
Platform: Protect and Pursue Your Dream
What makes you special and unique? What you see is what you get, genuine, down to earth, bubbly personality
What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? That I am my own worst critic
Best advice you have ever received? Chase your dreams
What can’t you live without? My voice
What is your biggest guilty pleasure? Clothes
What is your favorite movie genre and why? Romance Comedy, I love feel good movies
Where do you see yourself in ten years? Successful and married
Most valuable lesson learned? Be rue to everyone because it will come back to bite you if you aren’t
Most valued role model (other than your mother) and why? My Dad, he reminds me almost daily that I have what it takes to reach my dreams
What motivates you? I do not want to fail
Greatest non-academic accomplishment other than winning your local title? Selected as Miss Brandon Middle School.
Best compliment you have ever received? Being told that someone loves to hear me sing is the best compliment I could ever get because it drives me to want to fulfill my dream of being a professional singer.
Secret wish or dream? To become famous
What is the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you? I would have to say either asking how many calories were in water or saying that I was “Hooting my own torn!”
What is one thing you’d like to try that is out of character for you? To be in a spelling bee
What is your super power? Making someone laugh when they need to
What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss Mississippi Program? Nothing falls into your lap, you have to work for it!
Describe yourself in one word. Vivacious
A Fun Family Fact? Our family Christmas Eve tradition is eating at Ward’s
Please write a short essay describing yourself to the people viewing the website. Let people know who you really are.
On January 13,1999, in California, Whoopi Goldberg was named the Host for the 76th Oscar Ceremonies. However, in Jackson, Ms a baby girl named Stella McKenzie Ford was born to first time parents, Craig and Wendy Ford.
Stella is a family name. It was my mom’s grandmother’s name. It holds a special place in my heart and it happens to mean “star”. The funny thing is, for 11 years of my life I went by McKenzie. I always wanted to be called Stella. By the time I could verbalize that, it was too difficult to change, or so we thought. When I finished 5th grade I went to my parents and said, “I want to be called by my first name.” Just like that, we made the change. Now, it seems so strange to even hear the name McKenzie. I am 17 years old and finishing my junior year at Brandon High School, home of the infamous Brandon Bulldogs. I have been on the dance team, show choir, student council, homecoming court, beauty and beau, diamond girls, and class favorite.
My favorite thing in the world to do is sing. I have been singing since I was four years old. I have sung at church, my great grandmother’s funeral, school functions like the JROTC Military Ball and the talent show in middle school. I won my second year. I’ve spent most of my Friday nights when I was young giving my parents concerts in our living room. It has been a life long dream to sing professionally.
I recently auditioned for The Voice in Memphis, TN. I was blessed to receive a call back. My parents have always been so supportive of me and so it was a family affair when I went for the call back. Unfortunately, I did not make it through for a blind audition but the experience fueled me even more to never give up on my dream. The positive feedback I received just reassured me that not only should I keep trying and chase my dreams, but I should never stop encouraging others to do the same.
Please write a short essay explaining your passion for your platform and your stance on the subject.
Desire, Relentless, Envision, Action, Motivation
“If you can dream it, you can do it!” “Chase your dreams!” “You have to protect your dreams!” “If you want something, Go Get It!” These are all inspiring and encouraging quotes. Too many kids grow up having aspirations and most get snuffed out before they ever come into fruition. This needs to change. That is why the platform that I have chosen is DREAM!
My goal with this platform is to encourage young people that no matter what their circumstances look like, they can achieve their dreams if they don’t quit. One of the ways I intend to get my message out is through a scholarship. I have set up a one time DREAM Scholarship at my high school, Brandon High. This scholarship will go to a graduating senior who exemplifies what this platform is all about. One of my favorite quotes is “Failure is not the opposite of success, it is a stepping stone to success” by Arianna Huffington.
We all grow up with desires of what we want to be. Some, are relentless in achieving them. Others unknowingly allow family, friends, and insignificant people to talk them out of going for their deepest desires. The day that happens for an individual is the day that a part of them dies. This breaks my heart.
Bringing belief, empowerment, and encouragement to young preteens and teens is what I want to achieve. My goal is to get them to envision their future, take action by taking small steps in the right direction, and stay motivated by putting on invisible blinders so that their focus remains on their goal, not the journey. Yes, it will be difficult, but so worth it.
We live in a society where we are told that living inside the box is safer. I would love nothing more than to help change this way of thinking. You are always going to miss your chance if you never take risks.
Mark Zuckerberg, cofounder and CEO of Facebook stated, “In a world that’s changing so quickly, you’re guaranteed to fail if you don’t take any risks.”
At the end of the day, I don’t want to have any regrets or wonder what could have been if only I had taken that step of faith.