Miss Heart of Dixie
Hometown: Ocean Springs, MS
Platform: Kids Blossom from the STEM
What college did you attend, or are currently attending? Millsaps College
What is your major? Chemistry
What is your scholastic ambition? To obtain an M.S. in speech-language pathology, and then go on to pursue my Ph.D. in speech and hearing sciences.
List scholastic honors: Millsaps Honors Program; Millsaps Dean’s List 5 semesters; Millsaps Presidential Scholar; Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow; Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honorary; Mu Phi Epsilon music honorary; Alpha Epsilon Delta pre-health honorary; High School Valedictorian; National Merit Finalist.
Greatest non-academic accomplishment: becoming President of Delta DeltaDelta, Gamma Zeta chapter
What is your favorite style of music? If I’m the one singing, you can’t beat opera from the classical period—Mozart, Beethoven. If I’m listening, I usually go for some classic rock!
What is your favorite movie genre and why? I love a good comedy. I’m never disappointed in a movie if it can make me laugh.
What is your favorite gadget? My FitBit
What is your favorite blog? Rethink Mississippi
What is your favorite place to visit? Colorado
What is your favorite food? Frozen Yogurt
If you were on a deserted island, what book would you want with you? The Grapes of Wrath
Do you twitter? No
What is your favorite?
Sport: Soccer Sports Team: Millsaps Majors!
Actor: Eddie Redmayne Actress: Anne Hathaway
Television Program: The Office
Wardrobe Accessory: Earrings
Thing to do on a weekend: play disc golf
Way to spend a day off: cuddle up with my cat and watch Netflix
What is your hometown like? Ocean Springs is a kind of big-little town with lots of fantastic people and fun things to do. I love traveling, but my hometown is one of my favorite places to be.
What were you like when you were a child? I was permanently curious and loved to ask questions! This might have foreshadowed my love for science and problem-solving.
Who is the most influential person in your life? Other than my fabulous parents, the most influential person in my life is my voice teacher, Teresa Sticklin. She’s taught me countless lessons about what it means to be a caring person, and she’s the one who inspired me to enter the Miss America Organization.
What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize?I am a MAJOR nerd, especially when it comes to science. Once you get to know me, you get to see all my strange quirks!
Describe one defining moment in your own life, other than winning your local title: As a ten-year-old, I had to leave my home in Ocean Springs due to Hurricane Katrina. This experience not only humbled me, but taught me how to both provide and receive help from others with grace and dignity.
What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss America Program? I have learned that just because things don’t turn out how I would like doesn’t mean that I can’t learn from my experiences. God is working through my life, and winning or losing is all in His plan for me
If you are crowned Miss Mississippi, what do you want to accomplish during your Year of Service? I want to expand the reach of my platform, “Kids Blossom from the STEM” throughout the state by reaching more schools than ever before. Also, as Miss Mississippi, I will publicize Mississippi as the up-and-coming state that it is.
What is your secret wish or dream? Secretly, I wish that I’d one day win a Nobel Prize. This is a long ways away, and there are a lot of things I’ll have to do before that’s possible, but that’s how dreams start.
I’m motivated by: A will to improve. I want to not only improve myself, but the lives of those around me. I care about Mississippi lives and the lives that make up our nation, which is why I will work to improve them every chance I get.
Is there a personal connection that made you pick your personal platform? Up until tenth grade, I never considered myself a “science person,” but that’s because I didn’t know that science is more than just memorizing facts. I was finally challenged to think critically in a chemistry class, and that’s when I fell in love with it. I want to encourage kids from a young age to use STEM classes as a chance to think critically and be creative.
What do you think has been the most significant event in your lifetime? When I was nine years old, my community was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. This event showed me that normal can change in the blink of an eye and also just how precious life really is.
The one thing I can’t live without: Fruit snacks—I could snack all day
My best friend would describe me as: In one word, “dynamic”; because I am passionate about the things that I do and full of excitement for life.
Something interesting about my family: We love to travel and often do mission work abroad. Most recently, we traveled to South Africa where we set up a free eye clinic and distributed glasses.
Funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me: My first day of freshman year in high school, I walked into the boys’ bathroom. It didn’t take too long for me to turn around and walk out.
One thing I’d like to try that is out of character for me: I would like to take a world tour of exotic foods. It’s out of character for me since I am a bit of a picky eater, but I think it would be a blast!
Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and tell us their names: I have two dogs—Rosie and Bandit—and a cat named Rudy.