JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -Wednesday night the first round of preliminary competition begins at Miss Mississippi.
One of the contestants who made the Top 11 last year was chosen by online votes, another has used her pageant experience for an important milestone in her education.
Abby Stokes is Miss New South. Last year she made the Top 11 when she received the most online votes.
Stokes said, “It’s indescribable to know that someone saw me and wanted me to get the chance to represent Mississippi. I mean, that’s incredible getting the opportunity to just get up there and put my heart out on the stage and to be rewarded for that, I mean, it’s awesome.”
She was also a finalist for the Quality of Life Award for her Social Impact Initiative.
Stokes said, “It’s called Georgia on My Mind End Alzheimer’s. That is in honor of my grandmother Georgia and through this I’ve actually become a partner with the Alzheimer’s Association and in March I got to go to Washington, D.C. and be the Mississippi representative at the National Alzheimer’s Forum.”
Blair Wortsmith, Miss University, is back to compete for a third year. She says participating in Miss Mississippi has been beneficial in many ways - especially with her education.
Blair Wortsmith said, “I actually conducted research for my Honor’s Thesis on the Sustainability and Evolution of the Miss America Organization, so I got to learn a great deal about where Miss America has come, where it’s headed.”
Wortsmith is also hopeful she will be the first Miss University since 1986 to win Miss Mississippi. Susan Aiken won that year and went on to become Miss America.
“I have former experience in the Outstanding Teen Program as well, so the Miss America Organization has been a huge part of my life since I was 15-years-old. It’s been a big part of my college journey participating in the Miss Mississippi program and so I am just honored to be here," said Wortsmith.
Wortsmith, Stokes and their group have judges interviews Wednesday morning and compete in evening wear Wednesday night.