Evans Rhett

Miss Southern Oaks

Hometown:  Columbus

Scholastic Ambition:   Complete dental school

Scholastic Honors:   MAIS Honor Society, National Honors Society, Beta Club, HA Honor Roll

Talent:    “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”

Platform:   Wake Up for Down Syndrome

What makes you special and unique? I am very tall (5’10”) for my age (15). I am outgoing and try to be congenial with everyone around me…even people I have just met! Those who know me well know I work to do my best at whatever I do!

What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? I love to eat–a–lot–which others don’t realize because I am slim. I can tumble; this surprises people because I am so tall.

Best advice you have ever received? Follow the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you would like to be treated. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

What can’t you live without?   I could not live without my family and my friends!     Every single one of them are very special to me. When my relationships with them are as they should be, my world is a happy place!

What is your biggest guilty pleasure?  My biggest guilty pleasure is ANY kind of junk food. I also have a very active sweet tooth.

What is your favorite movie genre and why? Hallmark movies are some of my favorite movies to watch because the ending is always happy.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? In ten years I will be in the middle of dental school. I used to be afraid to smile because my teeth were not straight but now I love to smile. In the future I want to do for others what my orthodontist did for me.

Most valuable lesson learned? When I lost a good friend in a swimming accident two years ago, I realized that time is short and tomorrow is not promised to anyone. I want to be the friend that others want to have.

Most valued role model (other than your mother) and why?   My family role model is my grandmother Gigi; she puts everyone else’s needs before her own. My celebrity role model is Selena Gomez who has remained humble through her success.

What motivates you?  I am motivated to do well so that my family and friends will be proud of what I accomplish. My goal in everything I do is to put my best effort into it.

Greatest non-academic accomplishment other than winning your local title? I sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” three times at the MS Veterans Affairs annual board meeting and Veterans Day parade. I also sang the national anthem at a semi-pro baseball game.

Best compliment you have ever received? My pastor recently told me that he can see how important my spiritual life is to me and that I have the potential to be a role model to others in that respect.

Secret wish or dream? I have always dreamed of being a famous fashion model.

What is the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you? Once while running onto the football field to perform in a cheerleading routine, I tripped and face-planted in front of everyone in the stadium.

What is one thing you’d like to try that is out of character for you? I would love to go swimming with sharks and to sky dive.

What is your super power? My super power is listening…I am quick to listen but slow to speak.

What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Program? I have learned that Outstanding Teen is another family to which I now belong. I love meeting the girls with whom I am competing and our Miss MS big sisters. My directors Tammy & Benny Wells have made me a part of their family…not just in pageants…but in life!

Describe yourself in one word. Different

A Fun Family Fact? Everyone in my family can water ski! Even my three-year-old sister water skis with my dad helping her.

My name is Evans Rhett. I am a 15-year-old high school sophomore at Heritage Academy in Columbus, MS. I enjoy being outdoors; I love exercising and work out as often as possible. Binge-watching Netflix and going thrift shopping with my friends are two activities I enjoy most. I love eating just about anything; Mexican food and sweets are my favorites.

One of my greatest passions is singing. I love many kinds of music; French pop is one of my favorites. Often I am asked to sing our national anthem at sports events, school assemblies, veterans events, and community activities, I enjoy these and many other performing opportunities. Being a part of school and church musical productions is another singing opportunity I love.

Another activity in which I am involved is volunteer work. I have been a volunteer at cheer camps, music camps, and organizations for boys and girls in our community. I have worked as a volunteer at Boys & Girls Clubs in Helping Hands projects such as “Crock Out Hunger.” I feel that it is important to give back to my town and community with my time and talents. In the future I look forward to putting many hours in as I work on my platform “Wake Up For Down Syndrome.”

For several years I have been a member of a competitive cheer team. My involvement in this sport has shown me what it means to be a member of a group who rely on each other to achieve success. The friendships I have formed and the memories I have made will always be important to me.

In July 2018 our family was blessed by the birth of my cousin Wake. Wake has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Before his birth I knew basically nothing about Down Syndrome. Now I have a passion for learning how Down Syndrome children and their families are affected by this disorder. I am learning what the special needs of Down Syndrome individuals, especially children, are. I have learned that communication is a huge issue for Down Syndrome individuals. I want to learn how to establish a personal connection with Wake and others who have this disorder.

My platform “Wake Up For Down Syndrome” has a double purpose. the first one is to inform people concerning what Down Syndrome really is. Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes a wide range of developmental delays and physical disabilities. This is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21. More than 200,000 children are diagnosed with Down Syndrome annually in the USA alone.

The second purpose of “Wake Up For Down Syndrome” is to raise funds for specific items needed for the education and care of Down Syndrome children. Funds raised will be used to purchase these itmes for care facilities and hospitals where there are Down Syndrome children. I am beginning this fund-raising drive at my school by having “dress-down” days. I also will be branching out in the Columbus and Lowndes County community to individuals, community and civic organizations, and businesses.

Through these efforts I hope to make a real difference to Wake and my own family as well as to other children and families like ours.