Vivian O’Neal

Miss Pride of the South  

Hometown:  Hattiesburg, MS      

Platform:       The Muscular Dystrophy Association

Talent:           Dance                       

What college did you attend, or are currently attending?  The University of Southern Mississippi   

What is your major?  Public Relations                                                             

What is your scholastic ambition?  Graduate from The University of Southern Mississippi with a 4.0 GPA and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and a Masters in Communication Studies.      

List scholastic honors:  Dean’s list, Honors Scholar Award, Mississippi Scholar Award, Award of Excellence in English, graduate High Honors                          

Greatest non-academic accomplishment:  Helping to raise over $175,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association  

What is your favorite style of music?  A little bit of everything!                                           

What is your favorite movie genre and why?  Romantic comedy; I like how they tie in a good romantic story without being too cheesy.  Plus, who doesn’t love a good comedy?                                                  

What is your favorite gadget?  My iPhone      

What is your favorite blog?  Thesweetestthingbog.com                                                       

What is your favorite place to visit?  Disney World               

What is your favorite food?  Anything chocolate                                                       

If you were on a deserted island, what book would you want with you?  The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin        

Do you twitter?  No           

What is your favorite?

Sport:  Football                                Sports Team:  The Eagles, of course!               

Actor:   Eddy Redmayne                Actress:  Audrey Hepburn                       

Television Program:  New Girl                                                                                       

Wardrobe Accessory:  My Pandora bracelet and Holly Hardwick crown ring.      

Thing to do on a weekend: During football season, I’m supporting my Eagles, but otherwise I’m with my family and friends, or participating in fundraisers for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.                            

What is your hometown like?  Although it is not a huge city, it is home to two universities, two major hospitals, and is known as “The Hub City”.  It has a thriving downtown area that promotes community by striving to provide diverse cultural experiences.           

What were you like when you were a child?  According to my parents, I was very funny and outgoing.  I was very musical or entertaining, always singing and dancing.

Who is the most influential person in your life?  Definitely my parents.  They raised me in a supportive environment that allowed me to think for myself and taught me how to be independent.                        

What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize?  I am very quiet and shy when I first meet new people, so others may not realize how approachable and easy to talk to I am.

Describe one defining moment in your own life, other than winning your local title: This is fairly recent, but dancing in the Superdome at the New Orleans Bowl as a Dixie Darling was such an amazing experience that really made me realize how truly important that group of girls and their traditions are to me.

What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss America Program?  Regardless of the competition aspect of the organization, I have learned the importance of camaraderie and making connections and realized what a blessing these relationships are.

If you are crowned Miss Mississippi, what do you want to accomplish during your Year of Service?  I would like to partner not only with the Muscular Dystrophy Association on a larger scale, but specifically with families who have children with Nemaline Myopathy.  The rarity of it makes it more difficult for them to gain knowledge on how to take care of their child

What is your secret wish or dream?  As a child, I always wanted to be a Rockette so I could dance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.   

I’m motivated by:  I am very goal-oriented, so setting specific goals motivates me to work harder in order to accomplish them.

Is there a personal connection that made you pick your personal platform?  Yes, my little brother was diagnosed with Nemaline Myopathy and receives services from the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

What do you think has been the most significant event in your lifetime?  Going through the process of applying for and receiving the Luckyday Scholarship.  It highlighted all aspects of my life including my academic background, but also all of the service projects that I have participated in.

The one thing I can’t live without: People                                

My best friend would describe me as:  My best friend described me as someone who is passionate and determined but is sometimes seen as a workaholic type.  However, she believes it is my greatest strength.                   

Something interesting about my family:  We’re 40% Irish and our ancestors were Irish royalty.

Funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me:  My family was having a get together and we were all on the back porch.  I hurried towards the door to get something from inside and ran into the screen door.  They still tease me about it today.

One thing I’d like to try that is out of character for me:  I am usually not an adventurous person or dare devil, but my uncle who is in the military said jokingly that he could arrange something where I could skydive with him but I actually think it would really be fun!    

Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and tell us their names:  Unfortunately I do not, but I claim my best friend’s dog Mylo as my own!