Friday, October 11, 2013

GIVING: Books In The Hands Of Every Student

My Chi O sister, Whitney, is a teacher in the MS Teacher Corps at North Panola High in Sardis, MS.

This little, blonde, creative writing powerhouse is spending this year changing the lives of 16-17 year olds by spreading the power of literature through Their Eyes were Watching God, and, thereby, addressing the issues inherent to this timeless novel such as race, gender, the cycle of poverty, and love/hate.

In depth reading and discussion of novels like this shaped the way I look at the world; this has the power to break the cycle that holds these kids in high poverty.

Education such as this is the key to the continual enhancement of our great state.

Consider donating! Whitney says that donations made before October 16, 2013 will be matched!

Here's the link:

Thanks, Whitney!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Miss America 2014 - The Big Night!

Everybody keeps asking me questions like: What's going through your head? Are you excited? How do you feel since tomorrow is the big day?

One word describes how I feel:


Without a doubt, I want the job. I genuinely want to be Miss America 2014 -- I believe in service above self!

As Miss America, I would be an ambassador who not only promotes my platform Full Plates Healthy States through education and advocacy but stands in the trenches with those serving and distributing food to the hungry. I am willing and able to take the spirit of service for which the Miss America Organization stands to the next level! There's no better way to promote the Miss America brand than to display all for which it stands being put to work in communities across the nation.

Most importantly, as Miss America, I would overturn the issue of hunger as an “out of sight, out of mind” epidemic—spreading light to the faces of hungry children and mobilizing concerned citizens to make their own differences in communities.

I would work with news outlets and celebrities to increase public awareness of the growing financial needs of America's food banks in order to provide fresh, nutritious produce. I would use my testimony to gain corporate sponsorships that would directly provide sustainable food sources to those in need and financial support for the cause of childhood hunter.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity of a lifetime to participate in the Miss America Scholarship Program -- to perform, advocate, and celebrate.

After three nights of Miss America preliminaries and countless rehearsals, I can say that performing on the iconic Boardwalk Hall stage is nothing short of exhilarating! It has been a dream come true. The production -- lights, staging, sound, etc. -- for Miss America 2014 is the most impressive thing I have ever seen. It is unbelievably fulfilling to perform on this stage. The talented people behind the scenes at Miss America are second to none. There's something very special about this legendary Atlantic City venue. It just feels magical!

While in Atlantic City competing in Miss America 2014, I've been able to share my platform with people like you through my blog, social media, face-to-face meetings, and on stage.

There is nothing more important to me than having the opportunity to spread my message of service above self. The Miss America Organization has given me so much! In addition to my passion for educating citizens about the tangible things we can do in our communities to stop hunger, I care deeply about encouraging young women to pursue career paths in the science and math fields.

I am very appreciative of the stage that Miss America has given me. It has been amazing to see how many people believe in me. And I'm extremely thankful and grateful that so many are willing to listen.

Perhaps the most exciting and rewarding part of my time here in Atlantic City was receiving the inaugural STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) scholarship award from the Miss America Organization! This was such an honor!

This week would not have been possible without the love and support I have received from my Mississippi family as well as people who support me across the nation. During my time in Atlantic City, I've been celebrating you!

Thanks again for your kind words on twitterfacebook, and instagram! After our activities each night, reading your messages gave me so much comfort and strength. You inspired me to keep giving Miss America 2014 my best efforts!

The big night is finally here. Watch MISS AMERICA 2014 on ABCSeptember 15, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. ET!

Thank you so much for keeping up with my #MissAmerica2014 adventures!

***While I have your attention, please do me a quick favor and click on the highlighted link below to find a local food bank near you. We CAN make a difference!!!!***

Food Bank Locator ----> FIND A FOOD BANK !!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Miss America 2014 - Pageant Week!

I want the job of Miss America 2014!!!

It is pageant week here at Miss America 2014. I am stunned by the outpouring of love and support I have received from my Mississippi family as well as people from across the nation. It has been energizing to see your kind words on twitter, facebook, and instagram! You have no idea how much it means to me.

Going forward, I'll be spending most of my time this week in rehearsals and preliminaries.

Look for a post with my recap of all three preliminary nights. And, don't miss the big night. Watch MISS AMERICA 2014 on ABC, September 15, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Thank you so much for keeping up with my #MissAmerica2014 adventures!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Miss America 2014 - Day Five: Film Shoot at White House Subs in Joseph Ribkoff

Can't wait for y'all to see Sunday's broadcast on ABC!

Day Five: Miss America 2014 contestants do film shoot for Sunday's broadcast and attend Blondie concert!

It was another long, busy day. But it was exhilarating and productive! The film crew was amazing, and I can't say enough good things about everybody behind the scenes. From directing to keeping us motivated -- they did an amazing job!! 

We wore our beautiful clothes designed by Joseph Ribkoff!!!! Can't wait for all of you to see everybody's hard work come together for Sunday's broadcast on ABC.

Picture time!

White House Subs made the coolest spot to do our part of the film shoot. (Check out the whole set of photos in Miss America's photo album HERE!)

Next stop, awesome hospitality was shown to us by the sweet folks at the awesome Golden Nugget! Check out this pic! I stood next to Debbie Harry of Blondie!!!! #TheUltimateBlondie #Blondie

Sitting with sweet and gorgeous friends #MissNorthDakota and Tessa Dee #MissSouthDakota! Or as Tessa @MissSD2013 put it #DakotaSandwich !!!

***Please vote for me for #AmericasChoice!***

***Please vote for me for #AmericasChoice!***

Thanks for keeping up with my #MissAmerica2014 adventures!

*P.S. At Miss America 2014, "Call time" still doesn't mean "time to wake-up."

Miss America 2014 - Day Four: Day in Philadelphia

Liberty and baseball -- two of the many reasons I'm thankful to be an American girl!

Day Four: Miss America 2014 contestants travel to see Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves Game and the Liberty Bell!

"Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof" (Leviticus 25:10).

These words are inscribed on the Liberty Bell located in Philadelphia's Liberty Bell Center. It is said that the Liberty Bell gets its name from this inscription. Today, it is a reminder of the many liberties enjoyed by the people of this nation. Promise me that you'll remember these liberties today!

It is very moving to think about how each Miss America contestant is a symbol of her own great state, and Miss America -- like the Liberty Bell -- symbolizes our great nation and the ideals upon which our country was founded! It is such an honor and a dream come true to serve as Miss Mississippi 2013! And it is breathtaking to have the opportunity to compete for the job of Miss America!

Next stop, Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves Baseball Game. We had a great time!

Each #MissAmerica contestant was introduced to the crowd!!!

It was so cool to have an Atlanta Braves player from #Mississippi ask ME to sign some items for his little girl, Parker!

And I couldn't start the day with a visit to the Liberty Bell and follow it with a baseball game without having a hotdog!!

6:00 a.m. call times are worth it for #MissAmerica2014 -- what do you think?*

Thanks for keeping up with my #MissAmerica2014 adventures!

**Please vote for me for #AmericasChoice!**

**Please vote for me for #AmericasChoice!**

*P.S. You understand that "call time" doesn't mean "wake-up" time, right? ;)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Miss America 2014 - Day Three: Shopping Event at Pier Shops

There are no words to express how thankful I am to be here!

Day Three: Shopping Event at Miss America 2014 means fun!

I can't believe that I've only been here in Atlantic City for three full days -- I've made so many amazing memories! 

It's such a privilege to be in the company of these amazing women. I wish there was enough time to sit down with each of the Miss America contestants to discuss the people in their lives who helped shape them.

I'm here to tell them about you, Mississippi!

I have not forgotten even for a moment about my journey here to compete in the Miss America pageant! I'm especially thankful to all of you back in Mississippi who have shared your light with me. You have given me so much. I'm doing this for you!

Thank you for all of the love and support that you have been giving me through social media -- twitter, facebook, and instagram. I'm doing my best to share this adventure with you -- I'm here because of you!

We rehearsed again today at Boardwalk Hall. Although I loved every minute of it, the next part of our day was even better!! 

Can you guess what happened next?

We went to THE PIER SHOPS at CAESARS. And... Wait for it.

They GAVE us cool stuff!!!! REALLY cool stuff.

Here are some pics below!
Free True Religion jeans!!!

Michael Kors sunglasses!!!

An AWESOME goodie bag from The Pier Shops!!!

Then we had a delicious dinner at a very cool restaurant called Buddakan. It was amazing!!!

Thanks for keeping up with my #MissAmerica2014 adventures! Gotta get to Boardwalk Hall for rehearsal!!!!!!!!

Have you voted for #AmericasChoice?

If not, time is running out!!! See the tweet below from the Miss America Organization!
Please VOTE for me to become #AmericasChoice!!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Miss America 2014 - Day Two: Show Rehearsal

What a feeling!...Now I'm dancing for my life!

Day Two: Show Rehearsal for Miss America 2014 means a lot of dancing!

Today, we had show rehearsal at Boardwalk Hall. We danced ALL day!!! Loved that!!

Next we headed over to Chickie's & Pete's located inside the Tropicana Casino & Resort where we were rewarded with colossal shrimp and french fries with cheese sauce.

After dinner, we were off to Boogie Nights to hit the dance floor!!! Such a cool place. I requested the song "What a Feeling" from the movie "Flashdance" and the D.J. was nice enough to play it! This song really sums up the way all of this feels.

Check out this video of Miss South Dakota, Tessa Dee, and I dancing for our lives to the song!!!

Thanks for keeping up with my #MissAmerica2014 adventures!

Don't forget to VOTE for me to become #AmericasChoice!!!