Macy MitchellMiss Pine Belt
Hometown: Petal, MS
Social Impact Initiative Description: For as long as I can remember, my family and I have been involved in the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. In 2012 we lost my grandfather to cancer. At that time, I knew that I wanted to do something bigger and bolder for the American Cancer Society, so I started my own Relay For Life fundraiser, Crowns for a Cure. Since 2012, Crowns for a Cure has raised over $40,000 for the American Cancer Society, and I am now able to inspire others to create their own fundraisers, as well through my social impact initiative, Communities Against Cancer.
What college do you attend, or have attended, or will attend if High School graduating senior? The University of Southern Mississippi
What is your major? B.A. Criminal Justice with a minor in Communication Studies
List scholastic honors: Heritage Club of Petal Scholar, Luckday Citizenship Scholar, Miss America 1959 Mary Ann Mobley Scholar, Order of Omega Initiate, University of Southern Mississippi Dean’s List
What is your scholastic ambition? To obtain a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Mississippi College
Greatest non-academic accomplishment: Raising $40,000 for the American Cancer Society
What has been your greatest adventure? Please provide an answer outside of the Miss America program. Snorkeling in Belize with my family is one of my most favorite adventures. We saw every sea creature you could think of and even caught our own lobster to cook for lunch.
What trip shaped your life? Please provide an answer distinct from your social impact initiative. While serving as Secretary for the Beta Sigma Chapter of Kappa Delta Sorority, I had the opportunity to travel to Phoenix, Arizona with the members of my council for a national conference, gathering Kappa Deltas from all 50 states. This trip was inspiring and served as a great reminder of just how precious the bond of sisterhood, whether through Greek life or not, can be.
Use three (3) words to describe your greatest assets. My ability to effectively communicate, my tenacity, and my strength in the face of adversity.
Are you a person of intelligence or of common sense? Common sense. Intelligence can be learned, but common sense cannot, which is why I have chosen to pursue intelligence through my decision to obtain a Doctor of Jurisprudence.
Who is the most influential person in your life other than your mother? My older sister, Morgan, was born with severe mental and physical handicaps; Morgan has shaped me into the person that I am. Her joyful outlook on life has not only inspired me, and she has taught me that in some way, we each have handicaps.
What are your 2 favorite hobbies and what led you to them? Participation in the Miss Mississippi program is not considered a hobby for this question. There is nothing like opening a book for the first time. I have found that leisurely reading is inspirational, which allows my conversations to be more intentional. I also spend the early hours of the morning at Orange Theory Fitness and have found that my early morning workout is a great way to start my day.
Who is your most interesting relative and why? According to family legend, my great great grandfather robbed banks and trains with Jesse James.
What is the best advice you have received and from whom? Please answer this question with information from outside of the Miss America program. At a very young age, my father told me that in life you are always on top of a mountain or down in the valley. Then he said, “Macy, you have to be prepared and thankful for both.”
What is your favorite quote? “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
Who is your most influential mentor and why? Please answer this question with an individual from outside of the Miss America program. I have had many great mentors in my lifetime, but the one that immediately comes to mind is a dear friend, Nicolet Hopper Bell. Nicolet is only a few years older than me, but from a very young age she has inspired me, encouraged me, and helped mold me into the strong and confident young woman that I am.
Other than being Miss Mississippi, what is your dream job? From a very young age, I have dreamed of becoming the White House Press Secretary. This is a high-powered and high energy job that would be fulfilling and exciting.
What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? In the fall of 2014, I suffered from third- and fourth-degree chemical burns to my scalp that resulted in 40% scalp and hair loss, both of which will never grow back. Since 2014, I have undergone five surgeries and numerous procedures.
What success have you learned most from? Please answer this question with an experience outside of the Miss America program. In September of 2019, I accepted a position at Kids Hub Child Advocacy Center as Community Outreach Educator. At Kids Hub, our staff works at the request of Child Protective Services and law enforcement to respond to child abuse using a multidisciplinary approach through advocacy, referrals, prevention and community education. In less than four months, I was able to increase community education by 50%, creating a community that is more aware of the realities of child abuse in the Pine Belt area. However, this success was not accomplished easily. Through my time in the field, I discovered that child abuse is an extremely uncomfortable topic for many people; so, by default, our culture chooses not to discuss it. While the first months of my new career have been exciting and successful, I have learned that I have many more things to accomplish.
What failure have you learned most from? Please answer this question with an experience outside of the Miss America program. I don’t necessarily believe I can label any of my life experiences as failures. I believe there are experiences and instances in my life that the world would define as failures; but that is solely due to a difference in perspective. As individuals, we are given the freedom to choose our perspective. The perspective I have chosen has always been one of positivity and with a heart and mind eager to learn; therefore, I cannot place the label of “failure” on any part of my life.
What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss America Program? Consistency and authenticity are key to any endeavor one intends to pursue.
If you are crowned Miss Mississippi, what do you want to accomplish during your Year of Service? Miss Mississippi should be a champion for all people, especially children. As Miss Mississippi 2020, I will work with state legislators to adapt state law regarding child abuse in the state of Mississippi. Mississippi has excelled in the area of state mandated reporting, requiring all Mississippians over the age of 18 to report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect; however, Mississippi Penal Code § 97-5-39 makes it extremely difficult to pursue a felony level conviction in regard to the physical abuse and neglect of a child. This must change, and as a Miss Mississippi with plans to become a prosecuting attorney, who better to initiate that change?
Is there a personal connection that made you pick your personal social impact project? For as long as I can remember, my family and I have been involved in the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. In 2012 we lost my grandfather to cancer. At that time, I knew that I wanted to do something bigger and bolder for the American Cancer Society, so I started my own Relay For Life fundraiser, Crowns for a Cure. Since 2012, Crowns for a Cure has raised over $40,000 for the American Cancer Society, and I am now able to inspire others to create their own fundraisers as well through my social impact initiative, Communities Against Cancer.
When is your sense of humor most evident? When I am sleep deprived.
What historical figure best represents who you are striving to be? Sojurner Truth was not only a women’s rights activist and proponent of universal suffrage, but she also supported criminal justice reform. As a woman living in the 19th century, she is an example bravery and strength despite circumstance.
What gadget can you not live without? One of my favorite things about getting in my car each morning is plugging my phone into my auxiliary chord. My aux chord allows me to listen to any song and any podcast on demand.
What is your favorite sport and sport team? I love to spend my weekends in the spring cheering on the Southern Miss Golden Eagles baseball team at Pete Taylor Park.