Gracie Mae Hendrix

Miss Nettleton’s OT

Hometown: Nettleton

Scholastic Ambition: To be Valedictorian

Scholastic Honors: All A student 8 years in a row, member of Junior Beta, Class President

Talent: Clog

Platform: Speak up for Speech

What makes you special and unique? I am special and unique because I love being different and surprising through my style of clothing. I have a high self-esteem and an even higher confidence level which makes me willing to seek out and accept challenges that others aren’t willing to do.

What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? People may not realize how outgoing I am right off the bat.

Best advice you have ever received? The best advice I have ever received was from my mom, when she told me to never become complacent. She also said that I can’t wait for things to happen to me — if I want something bad enough, I have to make it happen. And if I find that sounds too difficult, it likely means you don’t want it bad enough.

What can’t you live without? It is a must have that I have my sweet tea at school in a 32 oz yeti.

What is your biggest guilty pleasure? My guilty pleasure is fuzzy socks. I don’t know why, but every time I put on a pair of those soft socks, I feel like I’m a queen. They are just so cozy and warm. I love it when I get these socks as a gift and I treasure them.

What is your favorite movie genre and why? My most favorite genre is musical drama. I was introduced to the genre by High School Musical and I have loved it ever since.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? I see myself preparing to graduate with a master’s degree in speech pathology.

Most valuable lesson learned? The most valuable lesson I have ever learned is to take pride in being different.

Most valued role model (other than your mother) and why? Helen McDougald has been a major role model these past couple of years due to our interactions at dance, pageants, and our mall runs. She has paved the path for my pageant journey and helped me tremendously with the preparation of the Outstanding Teen Pageant. She taught me how to do my hair, and makeup, but I look up to her the most because of how she truly taught me to be a lady of class.

What motivates you? I am motivated by my academic goals to become a speech pathologist.

Greatest non-academic accomplishment other than winning your local title? My greatest accomplishment is when my dance team, Art In Motion, won National Championship at the Kar Dance Competition.

Best compliment you have ever received? The best compliment I have ever received is when my science teacher, Mrs. Willis, told me that I was the most beautiful person that she has ever seen on the inside and out.

Secret wish or dream? I have a secret wish to have my own fashion line and be a celebrity fashion designer.

What is the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you? The most embarrassing thing that has happened to me is when my mom started trying to dance at a competition in front of all my friends, and let’s just say, it was terrible.

What is one thing you’d like to try that is out of character for you? I am a very picky eater and rarely eat anything off the wall however I would like to try oysters.

What is your superpower? I feel that my superpower is lifting others up and giving pep talks. I love to give pep talks that help others with their situation especially when those talks help me as well.

What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Program? I have learned to be myself and nothing but myself.

Describe yourself in one word. Peppy

A Fun Family Fact? My sister and I were born 14 years apart.

I am Gracie Mae Hendrix, and I am the daughter of Les and Melissa Hendrix. I am currently 14 and in the 8th grade. I attend junior high in the small town of Nettleton where I won my preliminary title, Miss Nettleton’s Outstanding Teen. I participate in my school’s cheerleading program, and after school dance program, and my church’s drama team. This will be my second year competing in the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen pageant, and I am super excited. I love this program because it gives me an opportunity to communicate, perform, and raise awareness about my platform: each of which are thing that I am passionate about.

At an age I struggled with a speech impediment which lead me unable to properly pronounce the letters “L” and “R”. As a kindergartner pronouncing my name as “Gwacie” was just so cute to everyone; however, the older I became the more I felt my friends surpassing me in the classroom. Despite my ability to cognitively process any information, to present information was often scary and embarrassing for me. From kindergarten to 3rd grade I worked diligently to improve my speech.

Now as a young woman I feel it is important to Speak up for Speech. I aim to use my platform and the voice bestowed upon me to raise awareness about early detection of speech impairments. I feel as though my experience of embarrassment and struggle with speech impairments has opened the door to help others find their voice.