Kelly Bates

Miss Golden Triangle

Hometown:   Meridian                                     

Platform:      We Have the Right to – Consent Education

Talent:           Musical Theatre Vocal Performance

What college did you attend, or are currently attending?   University of Mississippi

What is your major?         Engineering with an Emphasis in Law                                                                

What is your scholastic ambition?   To obtain my Juris Doctor and become a prosecutor that specifically works with abuse and assault cases.

List scholastic honors:    U.S. Presidential Scholar, Brevard Scholar,Academic Excellence Award, Valedictorian, STAR Student (35 ACT)

Greatest non-academic accomplishment:  House Bill 1347

What is your favorite style of music?   Acoustic Covers

What is your favorite movie genre and why?    Thrillers with Strong Female Leads,because men aren’t the only ones with action-filled lives     

What is your favorite gadget?    My Tile Keychain

What is your favorite blog?        howstuffworks.com, if that’s considered a blog

What is your favorite place to visit?     Washington, D.C.

What is your favorite food?   Baked Chicken and Rice

If you were on a deserted island, what book would you want with you?   Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Do you twitter?       Yes! @kelllybates                                                                                       

What is your favorite?  

Sport:  To watch: Soccer, To play: Volleyball   Sports Team:   Ole Miss Rebels

Actor:   Ashton Kutcher                                           Actress:  Reese Witherspoon

Television Program:         The Office                             

Wardrobe Accessory:      A cardigan

Thing to do on a weekend:    Go bowling or see a movie on Saturday, church and a nap on Sunday

Way to spend a day off:   Cleaning my house, catching up on books, resting and preparing for the next day

What is your hometown like?     It’s small, to say the least, but small in the same way an immediate family is considered small. We all know one another well, and we take care of our own.                                

What were you like when you were a child?   In the third grade, I got an award for being most inquisitive; I asked questions all the time. I wanted to know how everythingworked, from economics to the coffee machine.

Who is the most influential person in your life?     My mother is my hero because she hasalways worked incredibly hard, and she has the humility of a saint. I couldonly hope to be as great a servant leader as my mother has been throughout her life.

What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize?    I am an engineering major, and that’s quite rare for a female. People are often shocked when I tell them my major and that I enjoy it.

Describe one defining moment in your own life, other than winning your local title:    When I returned to school the semester following my sexual assault, I had never felt stronger than I did walking into my first class of that day. The semester didn’t always feel that strong, but I try to remind myself of that feeling when I am low.

What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss America Program?    Women support women–even when they’re your direct competition.  At myfirst preliminary, a girl pulled me aside and told me she’d work with me until she got to compete with me at Miss Mississippi, and that was so encouraging.

If you are crowned Miss Mississippi, what do you want to accomplish during your Year of Service?    I want Mississippi to believe survivors. Consent is not a hard concept,but it is often difficult for people to grasp because they have never been taught it. I want to change that.

What is your secret wish or dream?    I would love to play Jenna in the musical”The Waitress.” Definitely a role I love.

I’m motivated by:    The fact that someone tried to take everything away from me, and he messed with the wrong girl.

Is there a personal connection that made you pick your personal platform?  Yes, in the spring of 2018, I was attacked and sexually assaulted on my college campus.  I decided to report, and quickly realized that very few people fully understand consent. I see consent as a fine line with no gray area, and I will teach that for the rest of my life.

What do you think has been the most significant event in your lifetime?   The most significant event I’ve experienced is when I reported my sexual assault. It was terrifying, and I often refer to it as the best and worst decision I ever made. However, the support I’ve felt from the MS justice system since that day is more than I could have imagined.

The one thing I can’t live without:         my iPad and Apple Pencil                                                 

My best friend would describe me as:    “painfully honest and resilient. She isuncompromising about things that matter; Kelly is thoughtful and caresfor everyone she meets.”

Something interesting about my family:    My dad was a first generation college studentand went on to obtain his PhD as a non-traditional student with a full timejob, a wife, and two kids. He took 21 hours each semester.

 Funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me: Sometimes, my birthday will fall on Good Friday or Easter. I had a friend whose birthday was on December 30. Trying to make conversation, I asked if his birthday ever fell on Christmas. Still haven’t lived it down.

One thing I’d like to try that is out of character for me:  Skydiving. I am terrified ofheights. I can’t stand to even look out a tall window. I’d liketo skydive, though.

Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and tell us their names:    I don’t currently,but I am planning on adopting a canine friend very soon.