Miss Mississippi delegates prepare for first night of preliminary competition

Wednesday night 12 delegates compete in the Talent Prelim
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 11:17 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - On Wednesday night, the 38 Miss Mississippi delegates will begin the first night of Preliminary Competition at the Vicksburg Convention Center. We heard more from the delegates on the new category of Health and Fitness and how they have turned the struggles they have faced into positive messages and examples of hope and perseverance.

This is the fifth year Charity Lockridge, Miss Jones County, will compete at Miss Mississippi. She was first runner-up in 2022 and says she is looking forward to the new category, Health and Fitness. She says it has helped her stay disciplined, especially after a devastating loss.

Lockridge said, “That is the field that I worked the hardest in after being ridiculed about my size for years. I devoted a lot of time into the improvement of my health, especially with losing my grandfather last year due to health complications.”

Ally Hopper, Miss University, also lost a loved one. She is hoping to use the pain of that loss to help others struggling with addiction.

Miss University said, “My Service Initiative is Attacking Addiction, and I started it after my grandfather Ronnie passed away from a fentanyl overdose and in a college community, so many kids overdose every single week. I just had graduation, and there were so many moments of silence for classmates that we’ve lost to overdoses in the past four years.”

Karsyn Ulmer, Miss University of Southern Mississippi, is cheering for the baseball team.

Ulmer said, “Yes to the Top!”

And also those with disabilities. Her aunt Joyce was born with cerebral palsy.

“I just really fell in love with the Special Education Community. The Special Needs Community. So I started working towards awareness and making sure that people know to focus on the able rather than the label”, Ulmer said.

Abigail Church, Miss Midtown, says she spent K-5 through second grade in an out of hospitals.

Church said, “I had a lot of allergies that went undiagnosed for years at a time, so I was allergic to milk, eggs, wheat, soy, and all nuts. But I was young, and we didn’t know. So everything that I ate would make me sick, which would just make me feel alone and scared.”

Church says she now travels across the state, helping others overcome obstacles in a positive way.

Judges’ interviews began Monday for the 38 delegates. The last group will have their judges’ interviews Wednesday before they take the stage for the first night of preliminary competition.

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