Tori JohnstonMiss Central Mississippi
Scholastic Ambition: To be in the top ten percent of my high school graduating class. Also, to attend a four year university, majoring in Broadcast Journalism and vocal performance.
Scholastic Honors: Presidential Honor Roll- 95 or above in all classes, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, Honors classes, National Spanish Award for Spanish I
Platform: Shining A Light on Special Needs
What makes you special and unique? I have always been taller that my friends. One of my nicknames in elementary school was Giraffe, which I embraced because I could see things that others couldn’t! I love being tall and feel that it is a wonderful gift!
What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? I love telling jokes and making people laugh :)! Laughter is the best medicine.
Best advice you have ever received? If and when someone is rude to you, kill them with kindness. Spread joy like confetti!
What can’t you live without? My family- they are my support system, biggest fans and prayer warriors!
What is your biggest guilty pleasure? Sweet Tea 🙂
What is your favorite movie genre and why? Romantic Comedies. I love nothing more than laughing and I am definitely a hopeless romantic at heart!
Where do you see yourself in ten years? I will have completed undergraduate work and graduate school and hopefully be employed by a major broadcasting network. Also, I hope to be married to the man of my dreams and be starting a family of our own.
Most valuable lesson learned? Never take for granted time spent with those you love the most!
Most valued role model (other than your mother) and why? My brother, because he stands up for what is right in a world full of compromise.
What motivates you? When people doubt me, it makes me try even harder to succeed.
Greatest non-academic accomplishment other than winning your local title? Winning an International Talent Competition in Los Angeles.
Best compliment you have ever received? “You inspire me!”
Secret wish or dream? I would love to be a secret Santa and give to those in need without them knowing it was me. There is no greater gift than blessing others!
What is the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you? When I was 11 we went to Disney World and we were standing in line for our food. I was getting tired so I leaned against my father’s chest and I heard this man say, “Do you think I’m your dad!!!!” I ran outside and found my “real” dad!!!!!
What is one thing you’d like to try that is out of character for you? Skydiving! I love adventure, but skydiving is out of my comfort zone. Break barriers and grow!
What is your super power? My humor! I love making people laugh!
What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Program? I have realized how important it is to encourage and empower every child to make the right decisions that will allow them to believe in themselves, chase their dreams, and be their best selves. I feel that wearing a crown often times gives me an extra tool to hopefully reach many impressionable children in a positive
Describe yourself in one word. Jubilant!
A Fun Family Fact? I am the third girl on my father’s side of the family in over 150 years!
I am Tori Johnston and I am honored to be Miss Central MS’s Outstanding Teen for 2020. As a young child, I tried my hand at basketball, soccer, and t-ball. I had so much fun making new friends and playing these sports but learned after several years of “playing” that my gifts lie elsewhere! My family says I have been singing from the time I could talk. I was overjoyed to begin voice and acting lessons around eight years of age and discovered quickly my passion for music, stage, and film. I have had the privilege of being in a number of musicals as well as film and television roles. At this time, my dreams for the future are to pursue a career in television broadcasting or in the music industry. I recognize that my talents are from God and my life is grounded because of my faith in Jesus Christ.
From my perspective, every day is a grand new adventure and my “happy place” is spending time with family and friends. Traveling with my family is one of my favorite things. I delight in learning from different cultures while experiencing different foods and languages. I have discovered that people I meet on out travels enjoy hearing about my southern roots and many times are surprised to hear about the amazing people and places from my home state of Mississippi. The lessons learned from my travels are very instrumental in enabling me to connect with people from varied walks of life.
Connecting with people-all people-is why I am ecstatic about my platform, Shining A Light On Special Needs. I want to encourage others to embrace developing meaningful relationships with special needs children and adults.
My platform, Shining A Light on Special Needs, is very near to my heart. In 7th grade I had the opportunity to volunteer at Joy Prom, a special needs event held at my church. That night I felt a tugging on my heart and knew I was supposed to do something with special needs but didn’t know what. A few weeks later I had the opportunity to visit The Mustard Seed, an adult special needs community. I knew that day that my calling was to advocate for those with special needs.
My passion for my platform comes from personally experiencing the unconditional love and acceptance that the special needs community offers so freely, without stipulations or expectations. I came to realize that this community is of great value and are unintentionally ignored. There is much to be learned from the specials needs community if we only watch, listen, and have an open heart. I am passionate about helping the special needs community have a voice. A few of my endeavors include planning Puzzles and Bubbles drive for autism and the Princess Tea Party Fundraiser, but I most enjoy time spent singing, laughing and playing with my sweet friends.
I advocate and encourage all to heed the phrase, “We are more alike than different.” God made us all in His image and gave us each special gifts. Through Shining A Light on Special Needs, I have three main goals: to teach, to train, and to advocate for the special needs community.