Mary Mac ParnellMiss Tallahatchie
Scholastic Ambition: Attend a four year college and obtain a major in either chemical or mechanical engineering
Scholastic Honors: honor student, Trent Lott Leadership Program for Rising 9th graders
Platform: S.T.E.M.ulate the Future
What makes you special and unique? My ability to take the challenges in my life and use them to grow and better myself.
What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? This may be surprising to people that do not know me but I aspire to be an engineer
Best advice you have ever received? “Pretty is as pretty does” This advice was passed down from generation to generation in my family. This taught me that you’re only as pretty as your actions, words, and heart.
What can’t you live without? I can’t live without my family. They’ve supported me throughout everything, and turned me into the person I am today.
What is your biggest guilty pleasure? A Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato
What is your favorite movie genre and why? I love romantic comedies because they give me hope.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? In ten years I will be 27, and I hope to have a steady job and maybe have a family.
Most valuable lesson learned? If you work hard enough, you can accomplish your wildest dreams.
Most valued role model (other than your mother) and why? Dolly Parton because we do share the same hometown and she showed me that even the smallest hometown girl can accomplish whatever she sets her mind to.
What motivates you? My hopes and dream of what I want to accomplish, and my determination to get there.
Greatest non-academic accomplishment other than winning your local title? I’ve received the Pin-It-Forward Leadership Award all four years at UCA Cheer Camp. This was a huge accomplishment for me because it consistently reminds me that I have what it takes to be a leader.
Best compliment you have ever received? Someone told me recently that I remind them of my sister. This was a great compliment because I admire my sister so much. Not only because she is a beautiful person, but because she has this amazing personality that I look up to greatly.
Secret wish or dream? I don’t think I have any dreams that are a secret. I tend to voice my dreams in order to hold myself accountable for obtaining those dreams.
What is the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you? I once fell in the cafeteria and spilled food all over me and I hope to never do that again.
What is one thing you’d like to try that is out of character for you? Skydiving because I am terrified of heights and that is 100% out of my comfort zone.
What is your super power? Being able to encourage young women to be there best self.
What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Program? Every single one of these teens that I compete with and met throughout this entire journey are defying stereotypes of what a pageant girl is perceived as. Yes they are all beautiful, but there is so much more to them – talent, ambition and intelligence
Describe yourself in one word. Overcomer
A Fun Family Fact? My great-grandfather collected antique cars, and we would take his 1917 Franklin on antique car tours.
As someone who has moved multiple times in their life, I strive to become a better me each time I move. I cherish these moves because with each one I learn more strengths and more weaknesses. With each strength came a weakness and with every weakness came a new passion would not change these experiences for the world because they have taught me more life lessons than I ever would have received being in one place.
I moved from Sevierville, TN to Batesville, MS when I was just ten years old and it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I was an awkward, book-loving 5th grader that was just trying to make friends. Bullying was something I had never experienced before and I was unaware of how to handle it. I channeled most of my aggression into the arts such as singing, acting, and painting. Music is something that got me through the hard times because I heard artists going through the same pain I was going through and yet there was so much that could build me up in the same songs. While I was acting, I could forget who I was and what I was going through. This helped me tremendously because i could often find ways to cope with my problems through plays and musicals. Painting allowed me to see beauty in the world when I wasn’t able to see it in my everyday life.
While I had always been interested in the arts and had always loved them, this period in my life really allowed me to channel passion into everything I did and gave me a reason to do it. I still try to apply this to everything in my life. With this lesson I believe I can overcome anything that comes in the way of my path.
My platform is “S.T.E.M.ulate the Future” and it focuses on informing young children on the importance and opportunities of S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.) I chose this as my platform because as someone who was introduced to those career options only last year, it is essential to me that the next generation gets the opportunity before they enter high school in order to take the right classes to be as prepared as possible for a career in a STEM field. STEM was used to create the most complicated of technologies as well as the simplest thing we use on a daily basis, such as a toothbrush. It is my belief that STEM is the foundation of this world.
S.T.E.M.ulate the Future is also used to give young girls the inspiration they need to overcome the stereotypes that have often been assigned to us. It is extremely important that we continue to work together and overcome the barrier that has been surrounding women for centuries before any of our times. The only way to prove that we are anything more than the stereotypes we’ve been told is to break the mold and do the things that we have been told we couldn’t. It all begins with STEM. One in seven engineers in the United States is women. We must close this gap and it starts with the young women of today having someone that can encourage them and be there for them every step of their journey. I aspire to be that person for these young women and to encourage them to bridge this gap and balance out this inequality. We must S.T.E.M.ulate the Future.