Miss Mississippi 2013: Encouraging Others - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Miss Mississippi 2013: Encouraging Others

They say one of the points in the crown should stand for overcoming obstacles. They say one of the points in the crown should stand for overcoming obstacles.
The Miss Mississippi contestants say the pageant is about real people who deal with real issues. The Miss Mississippi contestants say the pageant is about real people who deal with real issues.
They say one of the points in the crown should stand for overcoming obstacles. They say one of the points in the crown should stand for overcoming obstacles.
VICKSBURG, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

In addition to scholarship money, and community service, the Miss Mississippi contestants say the pageant is about real people who deal with real issues. They say one of the points in the crown should stand for overcoming obstacles.

They say one of the points in the crown should stand for overcoming obstacles.. Many of them are motivated by experiences with their families or friends to get involved.

Chassidy Sumler, who was 3rd runner up in 2012, says she has seen the impact of childhood obesity.

"It has been my platform since I was 13 years old, so it's very near and dear to my heart," said Sumler, who is Miss Northridge. "I am an advocate for promoting healthy living, and eating right and exercising."

Jessica Terrill, Miss Southern Heartland, says her dad is a high school football coach who moved around a lot with their family.  She says she understands what it is like being the new kid, but volunteering to help school children motivated her to focus on illiteracy.

"I worked with a group of students and I saw really quickly that they were struggling readers and some could not read at all, and these were 3rd and 4th graders, and that really hit home to me," said Terrill.

Breanne Ponder, Miss Heartland, who won a swimsuit preliminary is back for a second year and made the Top Ten in 2012. She maintains a full time job and says work ethic is what led to her platform, Attitude of Gratitude.

"I had 3 full time jobs at one point and I still managed to do pageants, I managed to keep my grades in A's and B's , and I've already paid off half of my student loans, because I now have a full time job", said Ponder.

Each of the 35 contestants say they are so much more than the crowns, and each of them hope to use their life experiences to encourage others.

Copyright 2013 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

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