To become Miss Mississippi, a candidate must first win a local preliminary competition to be eligible to compete for the title of Miss Mississippi, a process requiring personal commitment, hard work, and talent. The role of a local titleholder is a great privilege that comes with great responsibility. We hope this information will serve as a guide to helping you understand the local competition process and answer questions you might have regarding the 2019-2020 local competitions. For specific information concerning when and where local competitions are scheduled please check the Miss Mississippi website ( or our Facebook page. For local competition deadlines including their dates and locations, please contact the specific local director for the competition of interest.

The Miss America Organization is the nation’s leading advocate for women’s education and the largest provider of scholarship assistance to young women in the United States, awarding millions of dollars annually. Miss America candidates contribute tens of thousands of community service hours annually and have raised over $13 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Miss America scholarships since 2007.

The mission of Miss America is to prepare great women for the world and to prepare the world for great women.  As such, the Miss America Organization is dedicated to empowering young women to achieve their personal, professional, and educational goals.

The vision of Miss America is she can be whatever she wants to be.  And yes, she is beautiful- beautiful in the way she is smart, principled, and passionate.  Stunning in how she leads, commands a room and makes an impact.  Striking in her authenticity, adaptability, and fearlessness.  She is genuine and has the ability to take her power and use it to change the world.  Never guided by what she should do but forever driven by what she could do.  She has the confidence, the skills, and is empowered to make it happen.

The young women who compete in the Miss America system are intelligent, articulate, highly motivated, caring, talented, ambitious, and hard working. They are passionate about their social impact initiative and are major contributors to public service. They exemplify leadership skills, strength of character, and spirit – they touch lives.

Miss Mississippi candidates should be an example of the highest standards for young women in our state and represent the principles and vision of the Miss America Organization.

We are thrilled you have taken the first steps to competing and possibly winning the Miss America title.

Am I Eligible to Compete?

 Please make sure you meet the following requirements to ensure your eligibility to compete in a Miss Mississippi Local Competition. If you have any questions regarding your eligibility, please contact the local director of the specific competition you are entering.


  • Never Before
      • Competed in any National Finals of the Miss America Organization
      •  Age
        • Must be at least eighteen (18) years of age by July 31, 2020 and a high school graduate. Also you may not be older than twenty-five (25) years of age on December 31, 2020.
    • Residence
      • Must reside in, be enrolled in, and physically attending classes on a full-time basis at an accredited college or university; or be employed on a full-time basis for at least six months in the state in which she intends to compete
    • Citizenship
      • Must be a citizen of the United States of America at the time she enters her first competition
    • Education
      • Must be a high school graduate or have successfully completed the GED testing program for high school equivalency or have successfully completed the academic requirements for entry into a college or university degree program by July 31, 2020 immediately preceding the National Finals
    • Employment
      • Must be a full-time employee working in the state for at least 40 hours per week, or be defined as full time by your employer and work no less than 32 hours per week for at least 26 consecutive weeks immediately preceding the date of the first local competition.
      • This employment must be maintained through the state and national competition.
    • Additional Requirements
      • Must have never been married, nor had a marriage annulled
      • Must not be a parent or the adoptive parent of any child
      • Must never have been convicted of a criminal offense, nor have any criminal charges pending
      • Must be of good moral character and has not been involved in any act of moral turpitude
        • Must be in good health and can participate fully and without limitation in all program activities
        • Must not use or consume any illegal controlled dangerous substances or abuse the use of alcohol or other dangerous substances
        • Additional requirements may be expressed in local and state contestant contracts
        • Must be in good health and can participate fully and without limitation in all program activities
        • Must not use or consume any illegal controlled dangerous substances or abuse the use of alcohol or other dangerous substances
        • Additional requirements may be expressed in local and state contestant contracts

Competition Requirements

As a Miss Mississippi candidate, you will be expected to advance your social impact initiative and serve as an ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, raising funds and awareness for children.

As such, the qualities and attributes that judges are looking for include:

  • Well-spoken with exceptional grammar and communications skills
  • Intelligent
  • Talented
  • Enthusiastic
  • Charismatic
  • Energetic
  • Approachable
  • Innovative
  • Competent
  • Organized
  • Flexible
  • A team player
  • Professional in her appearance both casually and on the job
  • Engaging with people of all ages and all backgrounds
  • Wants to be a positive role model
  • Can articulate her job
  • Understands, has a true belief in, and is ready to execute her social impact initiative each day
  • Builds partnerships
  • Understands and uses social media strategically and tactically

Local Competition Phases of Competition

  • Scoring Percentages for all local competitions are as follows:
  • Private Interview – 25%
  • On Stage Interview – 15%
  • Evening Wear/Social Impact Statement – 20%
  • Talent Competition – 40%


  • Competition Specifics
    • Private Interview
  • The 9-minute 30-second private interview is designed to allow insight into the candidate’s ability to fulfill the responsibilities of being a local titleholder. It is an opportunity for the judges to learn as much as possible about the candidate’s qualities and attributes, commitment to her social impact initiative, ability to be a role model, and ability to express and distinguish her beliefs. Questions can come from a variety of places including but not limited to candidate resume, social impact statement, current events, education, and personal opinions.
    • A candidate can have a 30-second closing statement where they will be able to share any closing comments with the judges. At the 9:30 mark, the judge will indicate that the time is up and the candidate will have 30 seconds to close her interview on any subject that she so chooses.
    • What to Wear – Candidates should look their professional best. You are applying for a job and should dress in a manner that is reflective of that job.
  • On-Stage Interview
    • The on-stage interview is a continuation of the candidate’s private interview and brings to the stage in an interactive energetic way to showcase each candidate’s intelligence, personality, charisma, and aptitude for the titleholder job.
    • This phase of competition allows the audience to get to know the candidate and enables the audience to see how these discussions take place in a public forum showcasing your ability to communicate, stage presence, commanding presence, and relatability. The audience gets to see that the candidate does not simply answer the question, but builds on a conversation from the personal interview.
    • This phase allows one to see how well the candidate can serve as a role model and is reflective of her generation.
    • What to Wear – Candidates should look their professional best. You are applying for a job and should dress in a manner that is reflective of that job.
  • Evening Wear/Social Impact Statement
    • The evening wear/social impact statement part of the competition allows a look into how the candidate exhibits her own personal style, attitude, personality, grace, presence, and confidence while making her own statement about her mission of the job.
    • This phase allows a look into composure, confidence, the attention she captures on the stage, her command of the stage, presence, and how she appears in the spotlight. This phase of competition allows one to see how she carries herself on stage and how she presents her social impact initiative.
  • Each candidate must have a social impact issue that she will devote her time to promoting during her year of service. This social impact initiative is a cause or organization that the candidate is passionate about and volunteers her time to improve.
    • Some examples of social impact issues include but are not limited to literacy, mentoring, Alzheimer’s awareness, organ donation, and many other issues. You should make your social impact initiative personal and make it unique to what is important to you.
      • What to Wear – Candidates should look their red carpet best.
  • Talent
    • Each candidate will perform her talent live with a ninety-second (90) maximum time limit. There will be absolutely no exceptions to this rule.
    • Talent competition provided an insight into the candidate’s preparatory and performance skills. The judges are looking for the interpretive ability and technical skill level along with the stage presence and personality.
    • Candidates will be allowed only two (2) practices of their talent presentation prior to the local competition. These talent rehearsals will be scheduled at the discretion of the local director.
    • What to Wear – Candidates should select an outfit appropriate for their talent.

Miss America’s National Social Impact Initiative

The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is one of the Miss America’s National Social Impact Issues for all Candidates.  Miss America serves as the national Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. She visits hospitals, patients, parents, and staff speaking on their behalf and raising awareness and funds for their work.  As a candidate for the title of Miss Mississippi, you will get the chance to visit the Blair Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson.

  • $100 Children’s Miracle Network Hospital Fee – Service, one of the four points of the Miss America crown, has always been important to contestants striving for the opportunity to be Miss America. To build on this, candidates competing at the local level in the Miss America system are required to raise a minimum of $100.00 to support the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the Miss America Scholarship Fund for each local competition they enter. This is not an entrance fee, but rather a service requirement to participate in the Miss America Organization. For local competitions, once a candidate has raised $400 (i.e., entered 4 local pageants), they can enter all other local competitions for the preliminary season without raising additional donations.
    • Steps to Create Personal Fundraising Account:

1)       Log onto and click on the new candidate button;

2)       Fill out the mandatory fields (marked by an asterisk *) and click REGISTER at the bottom of the page;

3)       Once you have completed the registration form, you will be taken to a list of the upcoming local competitions. Check the box next to the competition(s) for which you would like to register and click REGISTER.

  • After you have registered as a candidate:

1)       Log in to your Children’s Miracle Network account ( and click “Send Emails” on your dashboard. Here you can enter the email addresses of friends, family, and colleagues who you think would be willing to support your efforts.

2)       Check your fundraising status by clicking “Qualification Report”.

3)       Once you have reached your fundraising minimum and are qualified, print off the report and give to your local director.

All Children’s Miracle Network monies must be submitted no later than your interview on the day of the local competition.  Proof of payment must be provided to the local director.



Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Organization was organized to encourage positive achievements by helping to nurture and build the scholastic achievement, creative accomplishment, healthy living and community involvement of our state’s youth.

Among its initiatives, the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Organization hosts a state competition intended to encourage and reward the talent, communication skills, community service and academic achievement of girls between 13 and 17 years of age.

The Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Organization has also established community-based initiatives and mentoring programs aimed at helping our state’s youth build character and gain skills necessary for success in the real world.  In partnership with committed adult volunteers, community and business leaders, as well as participants from the state competition, the Organization continues to implement programs aimed at helping young people develop strong values, leadership skills, social conscience, self-worth and conviction about their own potential.

The Organization’s mentoring and community-based initiatives are available to all young people between the ages of 13 and 17.   The Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Organization awards scholarships to individuals on a basis of academic merit and civic and social achievement.  Scholarships are awarded without condition or obligation to provide future services.

Funds raised by the Organization are being used to fund scholarships for deserving young women according to guidelines established by the Organization’s Board of Directors in accordance with Internal Revenue Service rule and regulations.  Funds are also being used to establish and develop the Organization’s mentoring programs and community-based initiatives.

MAOTeen National Platform – Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Since 2008, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has been the official National Platform of the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Program.  Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, Inc. has chosen Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) as the official national platform to further reinforce the efforts that have been so successful on the national level for the Miss America Organization.  CMNH is a non-profit organization that raises funds for more than 170 children’s hospitals.  Donations stay local and create miracles by funding medical care, research, and education that saves and improves the lives of 17 million children each year.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospital Participation

A website has been established for teen and assists with tracking funds raised on behalf of teen contestants’ fundraising efforts.  The web address is

All teen contestants competing at the local/state & national level are REQUIRED to complete a profile at the regardless of whether or not they choose to help raise funds. There is clause in the “Application and Contract for competing in the 2020 State and Local Pageants of the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Competition” that outlines this requirement.  For local and state pageants, there is no dollar amount that must be raised.  However once you win a state pageant, there is a requirement that each contestant must raise at least $500 before the national pageant.

 Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen

Local/State Contestant Requirements and Forms

2019 – 2020

 Contestant Eligibility – MAOTeen Competition

  • To compete at any level of the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Program, a potential contestant must never have competed in any of the National Finals of the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen.
  • To be eligible to compete in a MAOTeen Local/State & National pageant, the contestant and her parent(s)/legal guardian must agree to and comply with the following:
  • Age/Education Eligibility Rules
  • Residency Rules
  • Citizenship
  • Language
  • Other Personal Characteristics
  • Contractual and Other Obligations
  • Minimum Documentation Rules, and any special requirements of the State or Local Organization
  • Please refer to the current “Application and Contract for Competing in the 2020 State and Local Pageants of the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Competition” (Contract) for complete details

Application and Contract

Each pageant contestant is required to complete the “Application and Contract for Competing in the 2020 State and Local Pageant of the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Competition” (State/Local Contestant Application and Contract) BEFORE entering each Local/State Pageant.  All national contestants must complete the National Application.

Becoming Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen

In order to become Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen a potential contestant must:

  • Enter, compete and win a local, or “open/sweeper” local title. For specific information and deadlines for local pageants including their dates and locations please check the Miss Mississippi Web page ( under the Teen heading for the date, location, and name and contact information for the local director of the specific pageant of interest.
  • Once a local title is earned, the contestants begins the preparation process to compete for the title of Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen title.

The Role of Miss Local/State’s Outstanding Teen

Miss Local/State’s Outstanding Teen will have many roles during her year of service.  She will represent her Local/State Organization, the National Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Organization, the young women she competed with, and all young people her age, as well as promoting her chosen Platform Issue and acting as an ambassador for our official National Platform of the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Program, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.  She must accept these responsibilities by always conducting herself in an “Outstanding” manner.

Miss Local/State’s Outstanding Teen may be called upon to appear at a variety of functions throughout her state, where she will be asked to speak, possibly perform her talent, and interact with people of all ages.  At all of these appearances, she must be gracious, well-spoken, attractive and well-groomed in an age-appropriate way, approachable and friendly in order to meet the public’s expectation of a titleholder.

Competition Categories

As stated in the State/Local Contestant Application and Contract, all State/Local Contestants must compete in all phases of the competition at Miss America’s Outstanding Teen State/Local pageants.

The judging categories and the applicable percentages for each category on the Local level are as follows:

  • Private Interview – 25%
  • Lifestyle & Fitness – 15%
  • Talent – 35%
  • Evening Wear/On-Stage Question – 25%

The judging categories and the applicable percentages for each category on the State level are as follows:

  • Private Interview – 25%
  • Scholastic Achievement – 10%
  • Lifestyle & Fitness – 10%
  • Talent – 35%
  • Evening Wear/On-Stage Question – 20%

Private Interview

The Private Interview phase of competition is an opportunity for the judges to learn as much as possible about the contestant – her personal qualities and attributes to be Miss Local/State’s Outstanding Teen; her level of communication skills; her opinions; her sense of accomplishment, poise, and presence as well as her ability to fulfill the responsibilities of the position the judges have been requested to fill.

Criteria for Scoring in Private Interview:

Overall “first impression”; exceptional communication skills; including speech, vocabulary, and grammar; a confident and charismatic personality; ability to express and distinguish her beliefs; attractive and stylish in an age-appropriate manner; leadership and sense of accomplishment; and knowledge and understanding of her platform issue.  Can the judge envision the public, and the especially young people, being positively impacted by the contestant?

Lifestyle and Fitness

The Lifestyle and Fitness competition is designed to determine the level of fitness of the contestant and to obtain a glimpse into her daily routine and lifestyle.  The contestant’s drive, energy and presence are likewise considered.

Criteria for Scoring in Lifestyle and Fitness:

Overall “first impression”; physically fit; dynamic presence and attractiveness; and sense of confidence and self-assurance.  Can the contestant complete the presentation with vitality,, energy, spirit and charisma?  Does she meet the public’s expectation of a titleholder?


The Talent phase of competition provides an insight into the contestant’s preparatory and performance skills.  Consideration is given to whether the contestant’s talent selection fits these skills and her personality.  The Talent competition acknowledges the quality of the talent being presented, the technical skill level, and the stage presence of the contestant.

Criteria for Scoring in Talent:

Overall “first impression”; technical skill level; entertainment value; interpretive ability; stage presence and on-stage personality; and total of all elements (music, costume, props, voice, choreography).  Will the judge be proud that he or she selected this young women when she performs her talent if she is selected as the titleholder?  Did the judge enjoy the presentation?

Evening Wear/On-Stage Question

The Evening Wear/On-Stage Question phase of the competition is designed for the judges to assess the contestant’s beauty, poise, grace, and commanding stage presence, as well as for the contestant to make an on-stage statement of her interests, opinions, and aspirations in answer to a question selected by the contestant.  The judges will consider the contestant’s answer to the question asked when scoring this phase.

Eveningwear should be appropriate, stylish, and elegant.  Extremely low necklines and backlines are not appropriate.  High skirt slits are not appropriate and can be embarrassing for the contestant and the judges.

Criteria for Scoring in Evening Wear/On-Stage Question:

Overall “first impression”; sense of confidence, composure, and poise, personality and stage presence; walk, carriage, posture, and beauty; sense of style and age-appropriateness of the evening wear.  Does the contestant take command of the stage by simply walking onto it?  Can the contestant handle the pressure of speaking on stage in front of an audience?  Special attention must be given to whether or not the contestant answered the question she was asked, and did she have the ability to make the audience want to listen to her.  The contestant’s total look, grace, charm, and ability as a spokesperson and role model must be considered.

Scholastic Achievement – MAOTeen State Pageants

In keeping with the MAOTeen Program’s mission, the MAOTeen Organization believes the “scholastic achievement” must carry some weight in the judging process.

Prior to the competition, the scholastic judges will be asked to review the following three documents from each contestant:

  • Official Report Card (for 7th and 8th grade students only), or Grade Transcript
  • The report card/transcript must come directly from the contestant’s school in a sealed envelope
  • Documents for homeschooled students must come form the institution overseeing the contestant’s academic studies
  • Contestant’s Resume – Fact Sheet
  • Contestant’s Platform Statement

The Scholastic Achievement category is to be judged by a different panel of judges from the competition panel of judges.  The Scholastic Achievement scores are not to be shared with the on-stage-pageant competition panel of judges.

General Information

Potential contestants should contact the local director of the specific pageant the contestant is interested in competing in for general information regarding location, time, rehearsal, deadlines, production issues and photos.