Grace McClanahanMiss Fairpark
Hometown: Hot Springs, Arkansas
Platform: ORGANize to Save Lives
What college did you attend, or are currently attending? Ole Miss
What is your major? Marketing
What is your scholastic ambition? Obtain a Master’s Degree from the Bryan Singer division of Cinema & Media Studies at the University of Southern California
List scholastic honors: Chancellor’s Honor Roll for 4 consecutive semesters, invited into Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, earned a 4.0 GPA for 4 consecutive semesters, Provost Scholar
Greatest non-academic accomplishment: Receiving the Duke of Edinburgh award
What is your favorite style of music? Top 40 Pop
What is your favorite movie genre and why? Feel-Good Comedies because for those next 80 minutes, you’re completely sucked into a new world where ultimately, the good guy will finish first.
What is your favorite gadget? Apple Watch
What is your favorite blog? Patricia Bright on YouTube (it’s almost a blog!)
What is your favorite place to visit? Los Angeles, California
What is your favorite food? Movie Theater Popcorn & Chocolate Covered Almonds
If you were on a deserted island, what book would you want with you? Deserted Islands for Dummies
Do you twitter? Yes! @dudeitsgrace
What is your favorite?
Sports Team: Memphis Grizzlies
Actor: Dwayne Johnson
Actress: Lili Reinhart
Television Program: One Tree Hill
Wardrobe Accessory: This dainty, rose gold necklace I was gifted
Thing to do on a weekend: Go to the movies! It’s my favorite for sure.
Way to spend a day off: Resting! My life is so full and busy, so I love having a day to lounge around and take care of myself.
What is your hometown like? I’m from Hot Springs, AR and it is a tourist’s dream! There is so much to do. Hot Springs is home to a Gangster Museum, Wax Museum, Escape Room, Magic Springs Amusement Park, and more! On top of that, Hot Spring’s Historic Downtown features Bathhouse Row. Hot Springs is full of rich history and was said to be the Las Vegas of Al Capone’s time!
What were you like when you were a child? I was always performing! I would take any opportunity to sing and dance with an audience, and there are so many home videos to prove it! My first actual performance went a little differently though. I was singing in my churches’ talent show, and I got so nervous that I had to turn around backwards and sing to the wall instead of the crowd. A lot has changed since then and I’m now more confident than ever singing in from of an audience.
Who is the most influential person in your life? As cliché as it may sound, my mom has definitely influenced me the most. She is always there for me! Without my mom’s guidance, I would not be heading to the Miss Mississippi stage.
What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? That I’m a total goofball!! Don’t let the blonde hair and blue eyes fool you, I’m a total jokester. After growing up with two brothers, I had no choice! We were always making each other laugh and trying to top the other’s jokes. The day my older brother finally admitted he thought I was funny is a day I’ll never forget.
Describe one defining moment in your own life, other than winning your local title: I lived in Wynne, Arkansas, until I was 14 yrs old. That’s where all of my friends and family were, so when my parents told me we were moving right before high school, I was really nervous! But I am so thankful for that move now because it allowed me to grow so much as a person. I had to face my fear of going to school as the “new kid,” and put myself out there to make new friends. My high school experience was amazing, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!
What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss America Program? The importance of mentorship. The moments titleholders get to spend with their teens and princesses are invaluable. Being a good role model and a listening ear can have such a huge impact on these girls as they grow into who they will be as adults. You can never have too many positive role models!
If you are crowned Miss Mississippi, what do you want to accomplish during your Year of Service? My personal platform revolves around organ donation, and my long term goal is to make Mississippi the most registered state in the country. I would spend as much time as I could educating Mississippians on organ donation and showing them that it isn’t scary, and it doesn’t put your life at risk during an emergency. The majority of registered donors will never become donors, but those that do can save up to 8 lives!
What is your secret wish or dream? It’s no longer a secret, but my dream is to be a working actress. Many people confuse this with wishing to be famous. I’m not after fame, rather I would like to be able to work full-time as an actress to financially support myself.
I’m motivated by: Others. With social media being so prevalent, we constantly see other people’s accomplishments and best days. This pushes me to work hard and go after my dreams fearlessly. Not so I can show off online, but so I can feel a sense of accomplishment from working so tirelessly to get where I want to be.
Is there a personal connection that made you pick your personal platform? I have both an aunt and uncle that affected my decision. My aunt was an organ donor and saved so many lives, and my uncle unfortunately passed away while on dialysis hoping for a kidney transplant.
What do you think has been the most significant event in your lifetime? Going to college! I moved from Arkansas to Mississippi, and I didn’t really know anyone at Ole Miss. Thankfully, my college experience has been nothing short of amazing, and I have grown to love Mississippi and call it home.
The one thing I can’t live without: My Movie Pass
My best friend would describe me as: The homebody. I love hanging out with my friends and going out to eat, but I also love staying in and watching Netflix. Nothing beats an at home movie night cozied up on the couch!
Something interesting about my family: My mom has 11 siblings, so I have more cousins than you can even count! Our family get-togethers are so huge that we’ve had family reunions in an airplane hanger before!
Funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me: I actually tripped on stage at my high school graduation! Thankfully I didn’t fall, but my ankle did buckle on one step. It was funnier than anything, and it makes the moment even more memorable.
One thing I’d like to try that is out of character for me: I am extremely afraid of heights, but who knows, maybe I’ll give skydiving a try one day.
Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and tell us their names: Yes! I have two dogs, named Winnie and Otis, and four cats, Buzz, Lucky, Fiona and Marty. I always joke I was raised in a zoo!