Mattie Grace MorrisMiss Southern Magnolia
Hobbies: Ballet, Cheerleading, Track
School: Hartfield Academy
Scholastic Ambition: Medical Career
Scholastic Honors: Honor student, advanced classes
Talent: Classical Ballet En Pointe
Platform: Fit is Fun: Reducing Obesity in Mississippi
What makes you special and unique?
My ballet training and performance experience has taught me many important qualities such as a strong work ethic, discipline, and self-reliance.
What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize?
Usually people do not realize that I am a very independent person.
Best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have ever received is no matter what, never stop believing in myself.
What can’t you live without?
Ballet was my first love and still is. I am very passionate about it and I could not imagine my life without dancing.
What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is always watching too many makeup tutorials on YouTube.
What is your favorite movie genre and why?
My favorite movie genre is thriller because I enjoy the excitement of not knowing what will happen next.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In ten years, I will have a college degree. I hope to be finishing my dance career and starting medical school to become a pediatrician.
Most valuable lesson learned?
The most valuable lesson I have learned is that if you do not work for what you aspire to do, you will not succeed.
Most valued role model (other than your mother) and why?
My role model is Misty Copeland, a principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre, because she reminds people of all ages that it does not matter what you look like or where you are from, you can always achieve your dreams and goals.
What motivates you?
Competition motivates me more than anything else.
Greatest non-academic accomplishment other than winning your local title?
I’m very proud to have received the title of an All American Cheerleader. I give credit to my coach for encouraging me, and the judges recognized my work ethic, leadership qualities, and technical skill.
Best compliment you have ever received?
The best compliment I have ever received is that I am beautiful not just on the outside, but beautiful on the inside. It really made me think about the fact that your outward appearance is not what makes someone beautiful. Having a beautiful heart matters the most.
Secret wish or dream?
My dream is to watch one of the American Ballet Theatre’s performances in New York City.
What is the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?
The funniest thing that has happened to me took place during The Nutcracker performance this past December. I went on stage and finished the whole dance with a crown stuck to my skirt! I had no idea but when I came off stage, my ballet teacher told me. I laughed so hard and was very thankful it did not fly off during the performance!
What is one thing you’d like to try that is out of character for you?
I would love to sky dive one day. I think it would be really scary but also very exciting because I could overcome my fear of heights.
What is your superpower?
My super power would be to have super flexibility.
What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss Mississippi Program?
I have learned to keep trying and never give up, no matter what.
Describe yourself in one word. I would describe myself as ambitious. From cheerleading, running track, and dancing I have always stayed committed to all my activities and I have never given up, even when times were hard.
A Fun Family Fact?
My whole family’s first and last names start with the letter “M”, even my adorable cat named Max!
Please write a short essay (2 or 3 paragraphs) describing yourself to the people viewing the website. Let people know who you really are. Keep in mind the questions you’ve already been asked and include other things that you would like people to know about you.
My name is Mattie Grace Morris and I am a freshman at Hartfield Academy in Brandon, MS. I live in the Brandon Reservoir area with my mom, dad, and little brother, Mitchell. We all attend Pinelake church and enjoy doing things together as a family. I believe one thing that makes me special is my name. It is unique because I was named after my great aunt who was unable to have children. Because of this, I believe I am living out her legacy. She was very humble, kind and independent. Those are the characteristics that motivate me and also represent the kind of person I want to be.
I also like to use the letters of my name (M-A-T-T-I-E) to describe more about myself.
- M is for the Many Activities I am involved in. I am in 2 clubs at my school. The Interact Club conducts community service projects such as working with mentally challenged adults. I was also chosen to be in the Chick-fil-A Leader Academy, another community service and leadership development program. In addition, I am an All American cheerleader, enjoy being on my school’s varsity cheerleading squad, and participate on the varsity track and field team. However, the activity that I stay most busy with is dancing as a member of the Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet (MMB) Company. Ballet is one of my primary passions and I have been training and enjoying this art form since I was 4 years old.
- A is for my Accomplishments. I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to train in ballet and also receive dance scholarships over the years. Through these opportunities I have received additional training through the American Ballet Theatre and the National Choreography Intensive. One of my most treasured accomplishments would be my business, Mattie FruFru’s. It is very rewarding to be able to teach little girls my passion of ballet through Mattie FruFru’s and also have a blast and help them celebrate their special day.
- T is for Time Management. Because I am involved in so many activities, I have to make sure I am putting my extra time into my platform, “Fit is Fun.” I truly love sharing the “Fit is Fun” message as another one of my primary passions.
- T (the other T!) is for Teacher. I believe a teacher is not only someone who teaches academics, but also describes one who helps another person learn and develop more in anything they are passionate about. I have enjoyed the opportunities to teach friends, family, and many others about the benefits of exercising and eating healthy, and look forward to influencing many others with my “Fit is Fun” message.
- I is for Involved. I am very involved in my school, as well as my community as a whole. Because of the Miss America organization, I have received many opportunities to positively impact my community and state.
- E is for Energy! Maintaining a positive attitude and positive energy helps carry me through my busy days and maintain a high level of performance in ballet, cheer, track, as well as my many other activities.
Finally, Grace represents what I try to show in my everyday life. I want to exhibit grace in the way I carry myself, the way I treat others, and the way I face life’s challenges along the way.
Please write a short essay (2 or 3 paragraphs) explaining your passion for your platform and your stance on the subject. Be sure to name your platform and give a brief explanation of its purpose as well.
My Passion is for “Fit is Fun: Reducing Obesity in Mississippi”
For several years, Mississippi has continued to suffer from one of the highest obesity rates in the nation. More than 1 in 3 Mississippi adults are obese and 1 in 4 children suffer from obesity as well. In addition to high rates of obesity, Mississippi also has the lowest number of adults who engage in regular physical activity.
Lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and obesity not only cause problems of appearance and body image. But these issues also contribute to a wide variety of significant health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and even many forms of cancer. Negative impacts on self-esteem and self-worth are also serious problems related to these issues. The key to a healthy lifestyle is not just exercising frequently, but maintaining a clean diet filled with mostly protein and vegetables. I have created a four-point rating system that people of all ages can use to determine if their meal is healthy or not. I use this system to teach people how to change their lifestyle. I am currently working with a dietitian to improve this system.
“Fit is Fun: Reducing Obesity in Mississippi” is designed to educate people about the dangers of obesity, as well as provide encouragement and help them to live a healthier life. As a ballerina, cheerleader, and runner, I have learned how important it is to stay fit and make healthier eating choices. Through creating my four-point system, teaching people about healthy eating has become easier and helped people to understand the benefits of good nutrition. It has become one of my many passions to find ways to show people how being healthy and physically fit can be fun, increase self-esteem, and improve overall quality of life. One of my biggest goals is to get Mississippi out of the top three most obese states in the US. Mississippi would not just be more fit and healthy, but I believe it would make people work harder, set goals for themselves, and positively impact their communities. By achieving this goal, I could say that I not only brought positive change to my home state, but it would also present greater opportunities to impact the United States as a whole.