Emmie Perkins

Miss Hattiesburg

Hometown:   Hattiesburg, MS                     

Social Impact Initiative Description:      In high school I was a part of an organization called Reject All Tobacco that combined performing arts with education to alert kids of the dangers of nicotine and tobacco use. Inspired by this program and the effectiveness that combining arts and education has on students, I created a platform when I began college. “Music Is Medicine” brings music to hospitals, nursing homes, and schools in hopes to benefit the performer and the audience member through the therapeutic effects of music.

Talent:     vocal performance to “Dare to Dream”

What college do you attend, or have attended, or will attend if High School graduating senior?     Mississippi State University

What is your major?     biological science major with a minor in music

List scholastic honors:      Shackouls Honors College, Academic Excellence Scholarship, Colvard Future Leaders Scholarship, Study Abroad Scholastic Recipient, President’s List, Sigma Alpha Lambda National Leadership and Honors Organization

What is your scholastic ambition?      I would love to graduate summa cum laude from the Mississippi State University Honors College with a major in biological sciences and a minor in music in hopes of later attending medical school to become a singing doctor.

Greatest non-academic accomplishment:     Competing in and winning the Tupelo Elvis Presley Fan Club Competition has been the most enjoyable and rewarding opportunity of all time. Celebrating a Mississippi artist’s life work while getting to entertain my love for singing and music was incredible.

What has been your greatest adventure?  Please provide an answer outside of the Miss America program.      Trying out for Family Feud and making it to the final round has been the greatest adventure in my life thus far that also proved to be the most fun. Look for my family on TV with Steve Harvey in the future!

What trip shaped your life? Please provide an answer distinct from your social impact initiative.     Please provide an answer distinct from your social impact initiative. The first time I visited New York, I had the opportunity to attend a week long Broadway Workshop Intensive that forever carved my path and love for music and performing. It was on this trip that I realized that music was meant to be a means of communication and empathy with others that cannot be spoken in words.

Use three (3) words to describe your greatest assets.     driven, dramatic, empathetic

Are you a person of intelligence or of common sense?     Definitely intelligence (sometimes I lack in common sense).

Who is the most influential person in your life other than your mother?      My grandmother, otherwise known as my “Oma” is one of the most influential people in my life who serves as a role model for what it means to be passionate and dedicated to the lives of children. My grandmother inspires me through her work with one of Mississippi’s first public preschools where it not only enriches the lives of children, but provides programs for adults such as GED training. As one of the top grant writers in the state of Mississippi, my grandmother inspired my love for public education and the service of others.

What are your 2 favorite hobbies and what led you to them? Participation in the Miss Mississippi program is not considered a hobby for this question.     Cooking and eating Lebanese food is one of my favorite hobbies that I enjoy with my family. My father’s side of the family comes from Lebanon, so being able to keep our heritage alive through the food we eat and cook as a family is one of my favorite past times. 

Who is your most interesting relative and why?     My aunt Joanie, who gets the same haircut as my dad, is my most interesting relative in my life by far. Despite the fact that she makes us laugh and keeps us on our toes, the real reason that she intrigues me is her passion for dogs with special needs. Aunt Joanie owns her own dog sanctuary to help foster dogs with special needs and serve as their permanent home.

What is the best advice you have received and from whom? Please answer this question with information from outside of the Miss America program.     When I first entered college as a worried and overwhelmed freshman, I was given advice from an older student. She told me “what is meant for you won’t pass you by.” After hearing those words I have gone into all of life’s opportunities giving it my all but also having peace in the fact that if it is meant to be it will happen and if not there is a different path or plan than the one I imagined for myself.

What is your favorite quote?     “Do one thing every day that scares you.”-Eleanor Roosevelt

Who is your most influential mentor and why? Please answer this question with an individual from outside of the Miss America program.        My little sister Sadie is my biggest and most influential mentor in my life. As a dancer she is always there to critique (honestly) and help me out in anything even close to dancing. Sadie inspires me through her art form and encourages me to be the best version of myself. 

Other than being Miss Mississippi, what is your dream job?     My dream job is to become not only a doctor, but to incorporate my love for singing into the job to bring joy and music to my patients as a “singing doctor.” 

What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize?     I have an extreme fear of cotton balls that are equivalent to nails on a chalkboard for some people. 

What success have you learned most from?  Please answer this question with an experience outside of the Miss America program.     As a junior in high school my participation in both the local and state levels of the Distinguished Young Women program propelled me to be the person I am today and provided me with skills that I can use in the Miss Mississippi program. Interview is a necessary skill that will follow me throughout my life in college, job opportunities, and many other areas in my life. I even met my college roommate through this program!

What failure have you learned most from? Please answer this question with an experience outside of the Miss America program.      Most associate failure to defeat, but I see it as a chance to learn. I have failed countless times in life and taken a lesson with each time that I have. One of my funniest failures was crashing into my mom’s car the day after I got my license. On this day I found out driving was not on my list of talents and that with accidents comes responsibility. 

What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss America Program?     As a student in the STEM field, I have learned that Miss America can be whoever she wants to be. The great thing about our state, country, and the world is the diversity within people you can find at every turn. Through the Miss America program I have learned to recognize and celebrate this in strong women around the world. There is substance to the people who hold these titles and wear these crowns.

If you are crowned Miss Mississippi, what do you want to accomplish during your Year of Service?     If I was crowned Miss Mississippi, I would use my title to promote my platform and be a voice for Mississippi. I would celebrate the amazing things our state has to offer while advocating for the pressing needs of our state and the people in it. I would serve as a role model and a voice for the people of our state as we strive towards a better Mississippi. I have always admired people that are given a spotlight and use it to do good and benefit the people and world around them. As Miss Mississippi, I would take full advantage of being given that “spotlight.”

Is there a personal connection that made you pick your personal social impact project?     As someone who studies science and music in college, I love to research how the two correlate. The way music makes not only the audience members feel, but the performer as well inspires me. Music brings students and patients therapeutic benefits and serves as a motivator. There is so much published research that shows that music has unlimited medicinal benefits.

When is your sense of humor most evident?     My sense of humor is most evident when I tried out for Family Feud with my family.

What historical figure best represents who you are striving to be?     Clara Barton

What gadget can you not live without?     My GPS (I have no sense of direction!)

What is your favorite sport and sport team?     Mississippi State athletics