Mary Kate Nelson

Miss Metro Area

Hometown:   Brandon

Scholastic Ambition:   Graduate early within the top 10% of my class and go on to become a Cardiothoracic Pediatric Surgeon

Scholastic Honors:   Honor Roll, Principal’s Award, Bulldog Award, President of School’s BETA club, Secretary of MS Junior Beta Club, National BETA Leadership Ambassador

Talent: Vocal

Platform:        Hearts of Hope

What makes you special and unique? I’m not easily conformed by society’s expectations and opinions.

What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? People don’t realize that my love for the arts extends outside of singing. I love to draw and paint, and I have also danced for many years.

Best advice you have ever received? Other people’s opinions of you do not define you.

What can’t you live without? I could not live without my best friends. They are my rock and pick me up when I am down.

What is your biggest guilty pleasure?  Binge watching Friends!

What is your favorite movie genre and why? I love comedy movies because laughter is the best medicine!

Where do you see yourself in ten years? In ten years, I see myself coming out of Medical School to further my education and preparation to become a Cardiothoracic Pediatric Surgeon.

Most valuable lesson learned? As teenagers, we stress about everything! My mom has always told me to slow down and breathe and problems in life are never as big as my head makes it out to be.

Most valued role model (other than your mother) and why? John Rhys Plumlee is one of my most valued role models. Even in the midst of ongoing success, he continues to stay humble and put God first.

What motivates you? Having younger siblings is what motivates me the most. Even when I begin to think things are impossible, I remember that I am looked up to and it pushes me to be better than I was yesterday.

Greatest non-academic accomplishment other than winning your local title?  I won All-American at Dance camp and in the same year we were Double State champs in Pom and Hip Hop.

Best compliment you have ever received? I’ve been told that I have the potential to go exponentially far in life and it’s been a driving force for me ever since.

Secret wish or dream? Ever since I was little, I’ve dreamed of singing in the Grand Ole Opry alongside some of music’s biggest influencers.

What is the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you? A guy friend of mine and me were walking into a football game one night and my little brother saw us. I told him to say hey to my friend and he said, “is that your boyfriend??”

What is one thing you’d like to try that is out of character for you?  Even though I’ve seen way too many movies about Shark attacks, I think cage diving with sharks could be super cool!

What is your super power? According to my friends, I have the super power of making things that we learn in class easy for them to understand.

What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Program? I learned that desired results do not come without hard work and perseverance.

Describe yourself in one word. Fun-loving

A Fun Family Fact? My name is a combination of different family names which I think is unique!

My name is Mary Kate Nelson, but all of my friends call me MK. I am a 15 year old sophomore at Brandon High School, where I am active in HOSA, the Health Science Academy, and a member of our Yearbook Staff. I also perform at BHS’ school functions like our Beauty and Beau pageant, and Brandon’s Got Talent. Next year, I plan to graduate early and go to college to pursue my medical degree. I am a member at Pinelake church, where I worship and also help in the nursery. I am a big sister to Madison (13) and John Thomas (3), who despite their slight abilities to annoy, are like my built in best friends. I was a competitive dancer for a couple years, and danced on my school’s dance team until I dislocated my tailbone in February of 2018. I have also been a singer for as long as I can remember, and I cannot wait to sing for you all in Vicksburg this April! This is my second year competing in the Outstanding Teen program, and I am SO excited to meet my sister queens in Vicksburg!


For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a doctor and fix everyone’s “boo boos.” After watching Grey’s Anatomy, I dreamed of being the Christiana Yang or Arizona Robbins of my generation. My interest in the medical field increased significantly when my little brother was around six months old. One second, my family was in the waiting room of our pediatrician’s office for his six month checkup, and the next, we were in the waiting room of Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital waiting on him to come out of surgery. An undetected congenital heart defect snapped my family into a gruesome reality; had his heart defect not been caught when it was, we would have lost JT. I knew from the moment I started the Outstanding Teen program that this is what I wanted to fight for.

My platform, Hearts of Hope, is dedicated to the early detection of heart defects. It specifically focuses on raising awareness, keeping up healthy lifestyles, and fundraising not only to benefit the American Heart Association in research, but to also help provide items for family comfort at Batson Children’s Hospital. I feel so passionately about my platform because I know what it means first hand to wonder, what will happen to my loved one? How did all of this start? What do we do? Through my platform, I hope to bring strength to families already fighting this battle, and help others preve