2019 Miss Tennessee Volunteer Candidates
2019 Miss Tennessee Volunteer Candidates
A lot of hard work and dedication has gone into not only an image that will represent the State of Tennessee and become a role model to other young women, but also into their charity of choice. Working for an entire year on something that means a great deal to you has to be one of the best parts of this pageant. From children, seniors, veterans, and to research for diseases, the girls from this year’s pageant have really put work into winning their titles and winning funding for their charities of choice.
This year’s pageant will crown a new kind of Miss Tennessee– it’s the Miss Tennessee Volunteer. This year, the pageant is no longer affiliated with the Miss Tennessee Pageant, but it will continue to be the selection vehicle for the Governor’s spokesperson, award major scholarships, and is the dominating pageant for the State.
Vote for people’s choice here.
We also had a chance to interview a few of the candidates from West Tennessee.
Please read on for their stories!
Parent’s names: Greg and Catharine Jordan
Talent: Vocal Performance of “You are the Reason” by Calum Scott
Platform: Unseize the Day: Epilepsy Education
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
Local Executive Director: Beth Murley and Sally Arnold
What is your favorite food? My favorite food is definitely my mom's spaghetti. It's like no other spaghetti in this world. What makes it special is definitely the seasoning that she uses. She uses it. I don't even know what it is but it's a like a garlic seasoning that she puts in it that she gets from Kroger.
What is your favorite animal? Well, my favorite animal is dogs but my favorite animal is my dog Louie. He's a corgi and he is my best friend.
What is your favorite place to visit? Oh, it would definitely be Florida. Any part of Florida, the further south the better though because the water, it gets more clear the further south you go. I've been to Fort Myers and that was probably by far my favorite. Anywhere there is water is where I want to be. Water and sand is a great combination. I feel relaxed. That's my happy place.
What is something we don’t already know about you? I was diagnosed with epilepsy in the sixth grade and I have battled it ever since. But I'm proud to say that I’m five-year seizure free as of April of this year.
I feel if you have a personal connection to your platform then it's a lot easier to talk about and teach. So for me, that's something that I kind of learned to embrace. And I had to really learn about it when I was diagnosed with it. So, therefore, it's really easy for me to talk about. And it's something that's really misunderstood. It's not talked about enough. I like to compare it to cancer because we hear a lot about cancer but it's very similar because if you look at someone you may not know that they're suffering from that disease. So when people look at me they don't see epilepsy unless I talk about it.
What’s been your favorite moment of this journey? I'll definitely think of this as my favorite part of this entire journey! After four years, I sat down to total up the amount of funds that I was able to raise for epilepsy. I never knew how much I had really raised. I was so proud to say that I've raised ten thousand dollars for epilepsy in four years just by doing fundraisers all over the place. It's super rewarding to know that I can give back to something that means so much to me.
Why pageants? Robyn Scott my high school counselor asked me to compete in pageants and I looked at her like she was crazy. I was not your typical pageant girl. I was a social butterfly in school but never had an ambition to go after a crown by any means. But the main reason I stuck it out was the community service. It is awesome.
And then there are the relationships you build, it's like family and scholarship money has played a huge part as well to pay off my student loans and to further my educational goal to get a master's degree later.
Why Miss Tennessee Volunteer? Well for me it wasn't a hard decision to make. I basically had the goal from the day I started pageantry to just be Miss Tennessee to represent my state. So, therefore, my goal long term was never to be Miss America. So it does help that the fact that I am Miss Jackson and with the pageant being held in Jackson it feels like home. Miss America was never my goal, so that was one of the factors that I factored into my decision. I just wanted the opportunity to represent my state and I know that by being Miss Tennessee Volunteer I can do that.
What are your plans after you’re done with pageants? What is your career path? Well, I hope to finally dive into my career. I hope to finally pursue my degree of Criminal Justice and pursue my dream of being in the FBI. That's the next steps after pageantry. I wanted to get this completely out of the way before I dove into that just because of traveling so much with that job I wouldn't have been able to do both at the same time. So that's the next steps after pageantry.
Criminal Minds on TV is what got me here, believe it or not. My mom has her associates degree in Criminal Justice and she always told me that she wished that she had stuck it out and gotten her Bachelor's degree. That was kind of what persuaded me to do it. I just began watching Criminal Minds and I found out it was so interesting, it got my attention completely. That's how I knew that the passion was there and the drive was there to be something bigger than just an average person at a desk every day. I wanted to do something that would allow me to travel because I've gotten to travel through pageantry and I know I enjoy that. I think that taking the parts of pageantry that I've learned, and learned to love, with me in my career is definitely something that I look forward to.
Miss Tipton County
Parent’s names: Jeff and Amy Payne
Talent: My talent is acro dance. I took dance when I was younger, was a competitive gymnast for twelve years and cheered for four years so I incorporated a lot of my tumbling into my talent routine. Hopefully I am able to please the crowd on the Miss Tennessee Volunteer stage!
Platform: Boys and Girls Clubs of America. At my high school, we complete a senior project during our senior year and my group chose to support the Boys and Girls Club, so I felt strongly about continuing my work with them and was excited to do so!
Education: Graduate of Tipton-Rosemark Academy. Attending the University of Alabama in the Fall Majoring in Public Health Concentrating in Pre-Dental
Ambition: I am planning on becoming a dentist.
Local Executive Director: Jen Tyler
What is your favorite food? Pizza or spaghetti, I love Italian food!
What is your favorite animal? Dogs are my favorite animals, they are always happy to see you.
What is your favorite place to visit? I love going to the beach in Panama City
What is something we don’t already know about you? I'm the youngest of three siblings. I’ve spent my entire life in Tipton County and gone to the same school for my entire school career.
What’s been your favorite moment of this journey? I think the best moment was actually winning Miss Tipton County because I get to serve my hometown.
What’s been the hardest moment? I think the hardest part was that I was crowned later in the year. All of these girls had a full year to prepare for the Miss Tennessee Volunteer and I actually had three and a half months. But I've completed my wardrobe and I have done several fundraisers for my platform. So everything is going great but being crowned later in the year was definitely a challenge.
Why pageants?After winning Miss Teen Tipton County. I really enjoyed my year. I love all the service that we did, so I was curious about continuing to compete and see what I could accomplish.
Why Miss Tennessee Volunteer? Our local pageant decided to compete in the Miss Tennessee Volunteer system, and it was important to me to continue in the legacy that this organization has built over the years. The girl who wins will be the Governor’s spokesperson for Character Education and will have the opportunity to travel throughout the state. It makes me proud to be able to carry on all of the traditions.
Editor’s Note: The original format of the pageant is replicated with Miss Tennessee Volunteer. The Miss Tennessee Pageant
What are your plans after you’re finished with pageants? What is your career path? Hopefully, when I'm finished competing I'll be in dental school and pursuing my career as a dentist.
Parent’s names: Jeff and Lori Martin
Talent: Flute: Shenandoah Medley
Platform: Operation Stand Down, which is a Veteran job placement organization based out of Nashville with hopes of growing into West Tennessee. Right now they are building apartments for homeless veterans and helping put them in job placements and helping them find health care options. They are providing apartments and putting them in work programs to teach them how to show up to work and the ins and outs of working for retail and different companies.
Education: Graduate of the University of Martin with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Human performance She will be continuing her education at Union University in their Pharmacy program.
Ambition: Once I graduate Pharmacy school I want to work in a hospital for several years and later down the road I would like to open my own pharmacy and include like a little boutique and gift shop with that. I just really want to get back to the roots of Pharmacy. Just be that small town pharmacist that everybody used to have.
Local Executive Director: Jen Tyler
What is your favorite food? Mexican
What is your favorite animal? I love my German Shepherd puppy named Nitro. He is definitely my favorite. He is my pride and joy.
What is your favorite place to visit? Scotland/Ireland. I've been to Europe several times, but my favorite travels have been Scotland and Ireland. I would love to go back and kind of do more of the countryside. It's so beautiful I want to go back and see it again. It literally just looks like it came right off a postcard.
What is something we don’t already know about you? I have a spoon collection of everywhere we've been. Every little town we go to has a little gift shop and I try to go in and buy a spoon that has just a picture of that town or something that's special to that town and includes their name. That way I can remember every town we've ever been to and my spoon collection is getting quite large.
What’s been your favorite moment of this journey? I have loved getting to go to Le Bonheur and help with different events. I've been there for the Christmas party and got to hand out light up Rudolph noses to the children and I also got to go to their Easter party and be a part of the Easter egg hunt. It's just so nice to have the opportunity to go and cheer up these kids and their families that are going through such a hard time. I got to be there with their siblings and just get to talk to them and hear their stories. I'm so glad I found an outlet that allows me to do that. I want that to be something I get to continue outside of my pageant career.
The hardest? Preparing for talent is always the hardest. I picked a new song this year and it's a challenging song. I spent many hours practicing, meeting with some people to help me along the way. I would always get a little nervous for talent, so finding a way to calm the nerves has definitely been a huge challenge. I'm excited to showcase my hard work in the song that I've chosen.
Why pageants? I started when I was in middle school and the only reason I started is that our cheerleading team put on a pageant for a fundraiser. You either had to be in it or find someone to be in it for you. We were such a small school. It was just easier to be in it.
I won my first time, and that kind of kickstarted my pageant career. I never knew that this is what that would lead to. I'm so glad it did. I've made so many new friends and connections in my community and have been able to help my community through my pageant career.
Why Miss Tennessee Volunteer? I competed last year with Jane and Allison and just seeing the dedication they have for each girl, not just for the girl that comes out as Miss Tennessee Volunteer, made me really want to continue to support them. They work so hard to put on a state pageant every year to get the scholarship money and the sponsors. I really want to support them, support the local pageant which is in Jackson, and continue that journey of being the governor's spokesperson for character education. Getting to travel our state and really just being there for Jane and Allison because they put in so much work this year. They truly do support each and every girl no matter what the outcome is on Saturday night.
What are your plans after you’re finished with pageants? What is your career path? It's hard to see past the four years of pharmacy school. That will be all I do for four years. After that, as I start my career, I'm really going to be focused on that. I also love to travel. I hope to be able to continue that after pharmacy school when I have a little more time to myself and really just get to enjoy being out of school for the first time, building my own career and spending time with family to travel the world.
I just want to continue living my best life, the best life I can live!
For more information about the Miss Tennessee Volunteer Scholarship Pageant and tickets, go here.