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My Experience at Miss Magnolia State! Featuring Haylee Howard

Haylee is a sophomore at Hinds Community College. She graduated from Florence High School in 2017. She loved running cross country while in high school. Haylee has been competing in pageants since she was 9 years old, and now hold the title of Miss Dogwood Festival 2018. She says her mom saw an ad for beauty and beau for elementary school children, which is how she started competing in pageants. Haylee says at the time she thought "ew no I hate dresses," but when she got on stage and met the other girls she knew she was going to love pageants.

I competed in the Miss Magnolia State Pageant this year, and it is a life memory I will never forget. I cherish the friendships I made there forever. I first wanted to do the pageant because I just went through my first heart break, and I wanted to do something out of my comfort zone. I thought would be fun. I saw an ad for the Miss Rankin County pageant, and thought "why not?" I competed in beauty and beau in highschool ,so it should be fun. Well, the pageant day came and I won Miss Dogwood festival! At first I was thinking "oh well this was fun" and it would be the end of the journey. Then, Mr. Ray handed me the Miss. Magnolia State contract and the following regulations. After going through it, I looked at my mom and told her "I wanna do this." I wanted to help my community out, so I developed a Platform called "Speech is Power." It raises awareness for children who have a speech or communication disorder. I donated box tops, glue sticks, and magic erasers to the Magnolia Speech School in Jackson, MS. I was able to tell them my story of having a speech disorder when I was little, and that any voice has power to it and can change the world. Then November was slowly coming and I needed my evening grown dress. I went to multiple dress stores and just didn't find the one dress that I thought was the one. I then decided to go to Glitz and Glamour. We told them what I was there for, and as soon as we told them they were so helpful finding dresses for me. The first dress they pulled out was the gold champagne dress, and I knew the first time I saw it that I wanted it. It looked like the dress off of Beauty and the Beast, and I just knew that was the one. When I tried it on, I truly felt beautiful and confident. I looked at my mom and said "this is the one." It took me multiple days to figure out what I wanted my hair and makeup to look like. I wanted my hair swept to the side so the judges could see how beautiful the back of the dress was. I wanted my makeup to be glitzy, but not too much since the dress shined. The three days of Magnolia State were amazing, from rehearsal to just siting around and joking around with the girls. I learned a lot from this pageant system. I learned that if you put your mind to it, you can do anything you can accomplish. Also, to always have the courage to step out of your comfort zone. You never know, you could love it like I did and meet some remarkable people on the journey. If anyone wants to get into the pageant systems I highly suggested the Magnolia State Pageant, it's not just a weekend competition it's more of a family reunion. Mr. Chris, Mr. Ray, Mrs. Tara and all of the pageant directors were so kind and generous and helped mein so many ways. The girls were so kind and sweet and I'm thankful to have met them.



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