Karsen HarwellMiss Iuka
Scholastic Ambition: I want to be a business major, and I want to attend Mississippi State University.
Scholastic Honors: Academic All Star, All A honor roll, Highest world history average, Highest English 1 Average
Platform: Beyond Type 1 (type 1 diabetes awareness)
What makes you special and unique? I have a very bubbly personality, and that is something I find special about myself. I always try and see the best in any situation, even when there is nothing positive to think about.
What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? One thing that people I meet might not immediately realize about me is that I am a Type 1 Diabetic.
Best advice you have ever received? The best advice I have ever received is to motivate yourself, don’t depend on others to do it for you.
What can’t you live without? I can’t live without my mom, she is my biggest supporter. My mom is always there for me when I need her, and does a lot of things for me.
What is your biggest guilty pleasure? Many people are drawn to things they don’t need or can’t have, and mine is anything sweet. Therefore sweets are my biggest guilty pleasure.
What is your favorite movie genre and why? My favorite movie genre is romance because I love happy endings.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? In ten years I hope to be successful in my writing. I want to have a published book or some sort of literature work.
Most valuable lesson learned? My most valuable lesson learned is to stay true to yourself, and always be honest.
Most valued role model (other than your mother) and why? My most valued role model is my grandmother because she is the strongest women I know. She is a breast cancer survivor, but through everything she kept a positive mindset and remained happy.
What motivates you? Making an impact on others is what motivates me. I don’t want to just fill a role or seat, I want to make a lasting impact for others.
Greatest non-academic accomplishment other than winning your local title? My greatest non-academic accomplishment is keeping my A1C level below 6.5. That is something very important to me and my health.
Best compliment you have ever received? The best compliment I have ever received was when someone said to me “Your inner beauty shines from within you.”
Secret wish or dream? My secret wish or dream is to travel the world. One day in my life I hope that I can travel all around the world, and enjoy some of the different cultures that I have never been exposed to before.
What is the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you? I don’t remember a time when I was really embarrassed. I’m sure I’ve done something goofy to be embarrassed about but I don’t remember it.
What is one thing you’d like to try that is out of character for you? I want to travel out of the country. This is out of my character because I don’t like leaving home, but this is definitely something I want to try.
What is your super power? I believe that I can make anyone smile at any point in their life. Making people happy is one of the most important things in my life.
What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Program? I have learned that beauty comes from within.
Describe yourself in one word. Determined
A Fun Family Fact? I have twin brothers.
Hi, I’m Karsen Harwell. I’m a 16 year old sophomore from Iuka Mississippi. I attend Tishomingo County High School where I’m a student class representative, editor of the schools literary magazine, a beta club member, and a part of the volleyball team. Playing volleyball is something I really enjoy, I’m so excited for my junior season! Other things I enjoy are riding horses, playing with my dogs and cats, writing, reading, and working out. Right now I am currently writing a novel about my life and the people who have impacted my life in many ways. The novel tells my story, and many of the challenges I’ve faced.
One of my biggest challenges is being Type 1 Diabetic. This disease has brought me so many hard decisions, especially since I’m a teenager. Overcoming those challenges have made me a stronger person. Being Type 1 has also taught me so much about myself, and has pushed me to live my life to its fullest potential. Two of my favorite people on Earth are my two dogs. Lettie and Goldie are my best friends, and they always know how to put a smile on my face. Another things that makes me smile is my horse Señor. He has been my horse for almost 5 years and he has recently gone blind, but he is a tough boy and is doing great with it. Animals are something I am very passionate about, and always have been. I am so excited to compete in MAOTMS in April!!!
My platform is called “Beyond Type 1” which is designed to raise awareness to people with Type 1 Diabetes. T1D is an autoimmune disease in which your pancreas produces little or no insulin. Since the pancreas isn’t producing insulin, the hormone insulin injections are required to keep your blood sugar under control. Living with Type 1 Diabetes is very difficult and draining. In 2018 on, on December 26 I was rushed to Lebonheur suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis. My blood sugar level is 1200+, and a normal blood sugar is 80-120. The doctors said it was a miracle I hadn’t gone into a coma. Since then I have learned so much about this disease, but also some of the people who also suffer tremendously because of T1D.
Diabetic supplies like insulin, and blood sugar monitors are required for the survival of Type 1 Diabetics. My platform is designed to help those who can’t afford to take care of themselves. About a month ago I read a story about a middle aged man who was taking very low dosages of his insulin because he knew when he ran out he wouldn’t be able to afford anymore. This man is dead now because he couldn’t afford something that he knew he would die without. I believe that insulin prices should be dropped, so I have teamed up with the JDRF to help fight for my beliefs. The JDRF is the Juvenile Diabetes Research foundation. With the help of the JDRF I hope to help those in need of their necessities.