Michaela Harper

Miss Pearl River Valley

Hometown:   Clinton                                           

Platform:      Serving Children and Families with Disabilities

Talent:           Vocal

What college did you attend, or are currently attending?   I attended the University of Southern Mississippi for my B.S. and M.S.

What is your major?  B.S. – Child and Family Studies (Child Development emphasis) M.S. – Applied Behavior Analysis- Masters                                                                                   

What is your scholastic ambition?   To obtain a Doctorate degree in education and open the Mississippi Institute for Mentoring                                                                                                                                                           

List scholastic honors:   

  • Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Fellow
  • College of Education and Psychology (CoEP) Scholar
  • President and Deans list (2012-2018)
  • Rotary Club International Scholar
  • Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Good Citizen Scholar
  • Lambda Sigma Honor Society
  • National Society of Collegiate Scholars
  • National Honor Society
  • Clinton Junior Auxiliary Scholar                                                                                                                                               

Greatest non-academic accomplishment:  My greatest nonacademic accomplishment was awarding my first scholarship called the “Rissy Jean Scholarship.”

What is your favorite style of music?   Honestly, I love most styles of music but I listen to Country and pop the most.

What is your favorite movie genre and why?    Comedy! Proverbs 17:22 says “A joyful heart is good medicine…” Comedy provokes laughter and joy almost instantly!

What is your favorite gadget?    My cell phone, without a doubt!

What is your favorite blog?        Own by Femme

What is your favorite place to visit?     California

What is your favorite food?   Red velvet cake

If you were on a deserted island, what book would you want with you?   The Holy Bible

Do you twitter?  No                                                                                                          

What is your favorite?  

Sport:  Basketball                                                        Sports Team:   Cowboys

Actor:   Eddie Murphy                                                         Actress:  Mindy Kaling

Television Program:   This is Us and New Amsterdam                                             

Wardrobe Accessory:      Earrings

Thing to do on a weekend:    Visit friends and family

Way to spend a day off:   Relaxing and watching a good movie or show.

What is your hometown like?    My hometown is like sipping lemonade, on the front porch swing, with your mom, in the middle of spring. It’s sweet, safe, and beautiful but most importantly, home.

What were you like when you were a child?   I was like a cat; inquisitive, playful, loving, active, independent, and friendly.

Who is the most influential person in your life?     My mom. She is the reason I have had the opportunity to become the person that I am. Outside of family , I would have to say it is a tie between Eric Thomas and Michael Todd.

Describe one defining moment in your own life, other than winning your local title:  When I first became a mentor. That moment reminded me that life is not about what you can do or achieve for yourself but what you can do for others.                                                                                             

What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss America Program?    I have learned to unapologetically myself. “You’ve got to be who you are in this world no matter what.”- Denzel Washington

If you are crowned Miss Mississippi, what do you want to accomplish during your Year of Service?   I would want to inspire, advocate, educate and encourage Mississippians with and without disabilities to reach their full potential and to help those around them do the same.

 What is your secret wish or dream?    To star in a movie and write an original song that would be played in it.

I’m motivated by:   I am motivated by the lives of others.

Is there a personal connection that made you pick your personal platform?  Yes, my aunt was deaf from birth; my mom was her primary caregiver my entire life which introduced me to the world of disabilities. Also, my cousin was born with trisomy 18 and knowing the struggles her family went through increased my desire to serve children and families with disabilities.

What do you think has been the most significant event in your lifetime?   Barak Obama becoming president.

The one thing I can’t live without:         Faith                                                  

My best friend would describe me as:    Michelle, “I really don’t know how to do it in two sentences but here are some characteristics: – Tenacious, caring, compassionate, follower of Christ, bright, compelling, and have the gift of gab.”

Something interesting about my family:    I have a beautifully blended family which has blessed me with 8 siblings.

 Funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me:              At the state track meet my senior year, to make the walk to my shotput event shorter, I decided to hop the fence. I somehow managed to get myself caught on the fence by my shorts. I was hanging there for what felt like 15 minutes. It took 3 people to get me off. There were students and adults from all over the state watching people struggle to help me. I still have a faded scar on the back of my thigh and on my pride! Haha

One thing I’d like to try that is out of character for me:  I will never do it but book an appointment with a psychic.

Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and tell us their names:    I do not own a pet but I do feed this stray cat every day at my apartment complex and sometimes, I call her Ma’am!