Taylor Hughes

Miss Tupelo

Hometown:   Pontotoc                                                      

Platform:      Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals: Tackling the Toughest MedicalChallenges

Talent:   Vocal         

 What college did you attend, or are currently attending?   I will be a freshman at Itawamba Community College in the Fall of 2019.

What is your major?  Education                                                                 

What is your scholastic ambition?   I would like to obtain my doctorate in Secondary Education and become a history professor.                                                                                                                                                           

List scholastic honors:    Member of The National Society of High School Scholars, Scholar athlete

Greatest non-academic accomplishment:   I was the first female to play varsity football at my high school and first female in the state to play football at the collegiate level.

What is your favorite style of music?   Alternative, 80’s and 90’s classics

What is your favorite movie genre and why?    My favorite movie genre is romantic comedy.Romantic comedies have a perfect mix of romance and laughter!

What is your favorite gadget?    That would have to be my phone, it keeps me connected to the outside world and allows me to communicate with many people across the country no matter where I am.

What is your favorite blog?  #mygreatestlovestory by Maggie Garrett.  It is about having a love story with Christ, an everlasting love story.

What is your favorite place to visit?     Lebonheur in Memphis, I try to visit any chance I get just to give back a little bit of what was given to me as a patient.

What is your favorite food?   I am very picky when it comes to food.  You’ll usually see me eating either fried rice or some form of chicken!

If you were on a deserted island, what book would you want with you?   Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur.Her poetry books are about empowering women and surviving the tough times.

Do you twitter?  Yes                                                                                                         

What is your favorite?  

Sport:  Football                                             Sports Team:   Ole Miss

Actor:   Noah Centineo                               Actress:    Sandra Bullock        

Television Program:  Riverdale – The CW                        

Wardrobe Accessory:      Definitely shoes!!  I probably have around 30 pairs of shoes.

Thing to do on a weekend:    Saturdays are for Ole Miss football as a recruit on the sidelines. Sundays are for Jesus, family and friends!

Way to spend a day off:   On my days off I try and catch up on sleep or find a great movie to watch all, from the comfort of my bed.

What is your hometown like?     My hometown is pretty small, where everyone knows everyone else. We live for those Friday night lights and eating at the local Mexican restaurant.

What were you like when you were a child?   I was a very active child who wanted to do it all!I definitely kept my parents busy with sports, voice and dance recitals, and competing in my school’s reading fairs.

Who is the most influential person in your life?     My mom is the most influential person in my life.No matter what struggles life has thrown at her she has always kept a positive attitude, even while beating breast cancer.She has taught me that the highs and lows of life mold us into the person God wants us to be!

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

People that don’t know me would never know that I have Chiari 1 Malformation, a skull deformity that required me to have brain surgery in September of 2018.The only visible sign of my Chiari is the 6″ scar I’ve been left with at the base of my head and upper neck.

Describe one defining moment in your own life, other than winning your local title:  There have been several moments in my life within the past 3 years, from my mom having breast cancer, to being the first girl kicker for my high school football team, to my Chiari diagnosis.The one defining moment was surviving brain surgery. The path I had planned for myself took a slight detour and God showed me how much greater his plans were for me and my life.

What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss America Program?    To me the Miss America Program empowers young women to be role models, to work hard and go after their dreams.We are not defined simply from outward appearances anymore, but rather what ideas and hopes we have for the future generation of young women.

If you are crowned Miss Mississippi, what do you want to accomplish during your Year of Service?    As Miss Mississippi I would have the opportunity to share my story and bring awareness to my condition, Chiari 1 Malformation.I would be able to show the youth of America that no matter what you face in life that you will conquer it and be even greater because of it.I would strive to prove that age and gender do not dictate what a person can and cannot accomplish.

What is your secret wish or dream?    My dream is to be the first female to play football in the Southeastern Conference.

I’m motivated by:   Knowing that I am a role model and that I can use my story to make a difference!Realizing that so many have been affected by my story and can relate to some part of it, motivates me to be the best role model I can be!

Is there a personal connection that made you pick your personal platform?  Yes.  I have a neurological condition called Chiari 1 Malformation and in September of 2018 I had brain surgery at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital.My condition is relatively rare and because of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, conditions like mine have happy endings!

What do you think has been the most significant event in your lifetime?    Four weeks into my senior year of high school, I was told my condition had progressed enough that I needed brain surgery to prevent any further damage.  My senior volleyball and football seasons had just started.I was being recruited by The University of Mississippi as a girl kicker. Everything I had worked so hard for over the last few years was within reach and then suddenly over.  What I didn’t realize is that through my struggles,others found the hope and resilience to fight through their own battles.  Everything I had accomplished and gone through allowed me to be the role model I am today! I now know that God’s plans for my life far exceed the circumstances of my day!!

The one thing I can’t live without:         Music! I’m always listening to music.  Music is the universal language.                                                       

My best friend would describe me as:    Loyal, dependable, and outgoing.My best friend would describe me as the girl who can do anything she puts her mind to.

Something interesting about my family:    My mom competed in Miss Mississippi 1996 as Miss Pontotoc and was awarded a non-finalist talent award.

Funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me:              One day in junior high, my friends and I wanted to see how long I could hold my breath. As I was holding my breath, I felt a sneeze coming on.Instead of allowing my body to sneeze normally, I sneezed while still holding my breath and well you can imagine what happened!

One thing I’d like to try that is out of character for me:  So many people assume that because I’m tall (6’3″) that I play basketball.  I honestly have never even tried to play.I think it would be interesting to see if I could actually dribble and run at the same time.

Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and tell us their names:    I have 4 rescue cats; Reece, Jake, Cheeto, and Phoebe