Haley Jones

Miss Riverland

Hometown: Shannon, MS

Hobbies: Cheerleading, Painting and Drawing, and Writing

School: Shannon High School

Scholastic Ambition: Graduate from Ole Miss with a Bachelor’s Degree in a Medical Field

Scholastic Honors: BETA Club, Honor Roll, Student of the Month

Talent: Speed Painting

Platform: No One Fights Alone – Colon Cancer Awareness

What makes you special and unique?

I can be a Plain Jane or Girlie girl. One day I may be helping my grandparents in the garden, knee deep in mud, and the next day be in heels and a ballgown competing in a pageant.

What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize?

One thing people may not realize about me is I have a love for sunsets. I love to paint them, take pictures of them and on occasion, watch one in person.

Best advice you have ever received?

The best advice I’ve ever received was to just be myself because God made me who I am.

What can’t you live without?

I can not live without Jesus and sweet tea!

What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

My biggest guilty please would have to be Cookies and Cream frozen yogurt. The local store I go to doesn’t have it very often so it’s a treat when they do.

What is your favorite movie genre and why?

I love romance movies. Just seeing people fall in love makes me all mushy inside.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years, I hope to have graduated from college, working in a career that allows me to help others.

Most valuable lesson learned?

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is to spend as much time with your family as possible. You never know when you will lose them.

Most valued role model (other than your mother) and why?

My role model is Sadie Roberson from Duck Dynasty. No matter the situation, she always allows God to lead her.

What motivates you?

My mom is my biggest motivator. She’s always there to encourage me and reminding me that I can do anything that I put my mind to.

Greatest non-academic accomplishment other than winning your local title?

One of my greatest accomplishments is winning the Mississippi Anti-Tobacco Campaign when I was in the 2nd grade. My drawing was chosen to be put on State billboards and stickers that were handed out to schools.

Best compliment you have ever received?

The best compliment I ever received was from a little girl at a pageant that came up to me and told me she hoped to be like me when she grew up.

Secret wish or dream?

My secret wish is to be a published writer of love stories. I want to be the next Nicholas Sparks.

What is the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?

The most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me was while I was inner tubing on the TN River and I was thrown off. Unfortunately, so were my swimsuit bottoms. Thank goodness, my toes caught them or I’d been getting out literally “butt” naked.

What is one thing you’d like to try that is out of character for you?

I would love to go bungee jumping, which may surprise some because I’m not much of a risk taker.

What is your superpower?

My super power is my sense of humor. I can usually make anyone smile.

What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss Mississippi Program?

The most important thing I’ve learned from being in this program is that you can always find a new best friend even if she’s your competition.

Describe yourself in one word.

If I had to describe myself in one word, it would be goofy.

A Fun Family Fact?

My family fun fact is that we are related to Pocahontas and it’s not from John Smith like you would think.

Please write a short essay (2 or 3 paragraphs) describing yourself to the people viewing the website. Let people know who you really are. Keep in mind the questions you’ve already been asked and include other things that you would like people to know about you.

My name is Haley Jones. I am 15 years old and a freshman at Shannon High School. I am involved in cheer and the BETA Club at school and last semester was in the gifted art program. I love to draw and paint but my favorite thing to paint is sunsets. I even have a beach cottage themed room with several sunset pictures hanging up. I love to go to my grandparent’s cabin on the Tennessee River and watch the sunset from the pier. There’s something about the way it hits the water and makes it sparkle that I love; I never get tired of watching it.

I live with my mom, Kristy, and my dog, Rebel and my Beta fish, Mr. Bubbles. I love listening to music, watching romance movies and going shopping. My favorite place to shop would have to be Ulta because I love shopping for makeup. I am a very picky eater, but my favorite food would have to be chicken nuggets. I won’t eat them from just anywhere, but if you’re going to Applebee’s or Chick-Fil-A, I will race you to the car. I recently got my drivers permit and am learning how to drive. It still makes me a little nervous to drive in town, but I’m getting there.

I’m a member of Brewer Baptist Church and part of my youth group there. I am very passionate about God and not afraid to tell others about Jesus and how He gets me through my day. After high school, I plan on attending Northeast Community College and then finishing up at Ole Miss. I haven’t quite decided what I want to do yet, but whatever it is, I hope to be helping others. For the past five summers, I’ve worked on my grandfather’s farm helping him with his garden. We grow corn, tomatoes, squash, peppers, peas and turnip greens. I also help him out by cutting his grass around the house and out in the pasture. That’s my favorite part. He has a large tractor with a radio and air conditioner, so I have no problems cutting those 10 acres.

I love to make others laugh and I love meeting new people. I guess that’s why my favorite quote is, “She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes”.

Please write a short essay (2 or 3 paragraphs) explaining your passion for your platform and your stance on the subject. Be sure to name your platform and give a brief explanation of its purpose as well.

My platform is No One Fights Alone – Colon Cancer Awareness. I first became aware of the risks involved with colon cancer when my grandmother was diagnosed in June 2014 and I found out others in my family had previously been diagnosed with it too. My grandmother had surgery and the mass was removed before it busted and she has been cancer free ever since. It was during this time that I learned that early detection is the biggest way to prevent colon cancer. I believe spreading the word about early detection could help save lives. I became an advocate for early detection and began speaking to others in my community and school about preventative methods like watching your diet, exercising and having a colonoscopy.

Then things got even closer to home. In March, 2017, my mom and I were volunteering at the Run For Your Buns Colon Cancer walk and the hospital was handing out free FIT test (Fecal Immunochemical Test). My mom volunteered to get a test to support me and my cause.  After taking the test and mailing it back in, the nurse called her and said her test came back positive for blood so she needed to set up a colonoscopy. They found a large polyp the size of your thumb that had to be tested. Thankfully, all results came back negative for cancer. But due to the size, the doctor told her if she had not gotten this out when she did, it would have turned to cancer. My mom jokes that how many people could say their 14-year-old saved their life.

This event changed everything for me. I realized teens could be heroes too. Simply by having teens tell their parents how important it is to get physicals with their doctors and being aware of their family history, they could save their parents lives just like I did with my mom. My hope is that this will also increase the number of people talking about colon cancer awareness and cause others hearing about it, to get early screenings. By involving the whole family in cancer awareness, we can ensure that no one fights alone and through early detection, save lives.