Rebekah Wallace

Miss Fairpark

Hometown: Olive Branch, MS

Hobbies: Singing. Acting/Theatre. Dance. Cheerleading. Painting.

School: Center Hill Middle School

Scholastic Ambition: To attend the University of Mississippi and obtain a vocal degree to

someday open up my own vocal arts studio.

Scholastic Honors: Mississippi State Science Fair (Class 2 – Medicine): 2013 1st Place Local; 2013 4th Place Region VII, 2014 3rd Place Local, 2014 Honorable Mention Region VII, and 2015 3rd Place Local; Theatre Summer Scholarship Stage Door Productions; Spotlight “Gifted Program” 2013-2017.

Talent: Vocal: “Don’t Cry Out Loud”

 Platform: Starting from Scratch: Eczema and Food Allergy Awareness

What makes you special and unique?

Musically I have always had a bigger voice and more mature sound than anyone expects for my age and size.

What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize?

Most people do not see my eczema scars at first glance. It seems like I’ve spent more time in hospitals than all my classmates combined including a two week hospital stay in Colorado. I’ve had eczema since infancy and years of scratching has left marks. it has also given me years of experience in hiding them.

Best advice you have ever received?

“In a world where you can be anything, be yourself.” Suffering from severe eczema and so many food allergies made my childhood difficult. It resulted in me being very shy and getting picked on in early elementary school. My parents always told me to keep my chin up, to never be ashamed of my situation, and to always be myself no matter what.

What can’t you live without?

Truthfully, I don’t know how we ever existed in a world before cell phones! It has everything I need at my fingertips. Phone, texting, internet, social media, news…There’s an app for everything!

What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

Because I have so many food allergies, it is hard to find “sweets” for me so when I find them, we buy as many as we can. I only recently experienced what a doughnut tastes like. That was the best!

What is your favorite movie genre and why?

I absolutely love horror movies. There is a rush you get from not knowing what is around the corner and yet knowing that, thankfully, it’s not reality. However I do spend more of my time hiding my face and screaming into a pillow than not.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years, I will be completing college after pursuing a vocal degree. I would like to open my own vocal arts studio but only after I have spent a few years traveling the world. I really want to travel abroad to Europe and Australia.

Most valuable lesson learned?

The most valuable lesson I have ever learned was to not judge a book by its cover. When I was in kindergarten, kids stared at my skin and boldly asked why my skin looked “old” or if I was contagious. It opened my eyes to the fact that I was judged as different because of my skin disorder while I was really just the same inside as everyone else.

Most valued role model (other than your mother) and why?

In 2014, I was accepted into a program at National Jewish Health in Colorado for a two week stay for my eczema, allergies, and asthma. While I was there, I met Jenna. Jenna came into the program to find out why she was having internal allergic reactions to foods that were making her terribly sick. She was often in a lot of pain. Despite this, Jenna always wore the biggest smile. We spent a week as “neighbors” in the hospital and passed notes back and forth through the nurses. She was an amazing example of someone who smiles through her troubles and remains positive no matter what. To this day, we are friends via social media.

What motivates you?

I like a challenge whether it is trying out a new musical style, exploring an unusual arrangement for one of my favorite songs, or learning a new cheer routine. I am the person who has to have a lot on their plate or virtually nothing gets done.

Greatest non-academic accomplishment other than winning your local title?

When I was eight years old, I began taking voice lessons for the first time. In a few short months, my vocal coach felt I was prepared to compete in local talent competitions. I competed at the Mississippi State Fair Talent Competition and not only did I win my vocal category, I was named 2nd Place Overall in Vocals that year!

Best compliment you have ever received?

I was recently named Food Allergy Hero of the Week by Red Sneakers for Oakley, an organization that advocates and brings about awareness for food allergies and the use of epipens.  Oakley was a young boy who passed away after an allergic reaction to peanuts and it was an honor to have been given this recognition by this organization in his name.

Secret wish or dream?

My secret dream is to perform the Stranger Things rap with Millie Bobby Brown, the actress who plays “Eleven” on the Netflix show. She performed this on the Jimmy Fallon show as a recap of season one, and I know every single word!

What is the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?

I was once in a Broadway Review show that included a lot of energetic dancing. One show I didn’t realize that the boy next to me was getting too close as I danced. I was dancing as

choreographed but before I knew it, I did a turn and knocked him backwards. He got back up and kept going thankfully but, of course, it was the one night my parents were recording the show so there is video proof!

What is one thing you’d like to try that is out of character for you?

I would love to go to Atlanta and be a part of Zombie School for The Walking Dead. While this isn’t totally out of character for me because I love horror shows, the thought of being transformed into a terrifying monster is more daring than I normally am.

What is your super power?

Suffering from eczema that has scarred my body, there are times where I wish invisibility was my super power but I really would love to be able fly. I would love to travel the world and do so

anytime I want.

What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss Mississippi Program?

I have learned that the sisterhood is a real thing. Even before I was crowned a local titleholder, I felt it backstage. It’s an instant bond you have with each other that can’t be explained. Maybe it’s because we are all likeminded. We have a common bond to be the best young woman and role model that we can possibly be.

Describe yourself in one word.

Brave has always been my word of choice to describe myself. I have been told so many times that I am “brave” for suffering through the medical situations in my life and still continue to smile

through the pain and discomfort.

A Fun Family Fact?

I come from a family of musicians. My mother is a vocalist, my brother plays guitar, bass, drums and saxophone and is also lead vocals for his band, and both my grandfathers played instruments and sang. The most interesting fact of all is that my paternal great-grandmother was an opera singer on the radio during World War II.

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.

 A thirteen year old 7th grader from Olive Branch, MS, I attend Center Hill Middle School where I am a member of the choir and a cheerleader. I am active in theatre and have performed in over

fourteen shows (mainly musicals) in the past three years. I enjoy singing and have spent the past four years training in Memphis, TN as well as competing in numerous talent and vocal competitions.

I am an advocate for eczema and food allergy awareness because this is part of my life and has been since I was an infant. My eczema, which has no cure, is severe and covers most of my body. I am heavily scarred on my feet and ankles. I am allergic to six of the eight major food allergens, as well as several environmental allergens. The combination has meant many nights, days, and even weeks in the hospital due to infections and reactions for one of both. I am proud to be Miss Fairpark’s Outstanding Teen and plan to continue working hard to promote my platform through the use of social media and public appearances. Whether I’m blogging for the Food Allergy Alliance of the Midsouth or being featured on National Eczema’s website, I want to use this as an opportunity to educate as many people as possible.

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.

As a supporter of eczema and food allergy awareness “Starting from Scratch” is part of my everyday life and has been since I was an infant. My eczema is severe and covers most of my body. I am heavily scarred on my feet and ankles. I am also allergic to six of the eight major food allergens which have caused me to have numerous hospital visits no matter how hard I try to keep away from my allergens.

I want to work to increase the state of Mississippi’s understanding of eczema and food allergies and ensure that I have made acceptance easier for children. There are so many who are dealing with the same medical situations in their lives and want them to say “she’s a lot like me” and know that I will be cheering on their successes and celebrating their ability to be comfortable in their own skin. I feel it is my responsibility to speak out to and for these children and show the world that we are not alone in this battle.