Pride of the Pinebelt; Miss Mississippi USA 2012

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg native Myverick Garcia wears the crown of Miss Mississippi USA 2012.

You would think someone with such a prestigious title is a pageant veteran, but Garcia says her background was quite the opposite.

"Not in the least. I didn't know the first thing other than it was just something fun to do with your friends at school," said Garcia.

With only one other pageant under her belt, judges chose Garcia from 30 contestants in November of this year.

"This year was my second year to compete and I actually got it this time,"said Garcia.

Garcia says for her the pageants are more than just gowns and crowns. It's a chance for her to share her story with young women.

"I think one of my main reasons for doing it was just, you know I have always felt that my testimony needed to be shared with people and what better way to do it than to try to become Miss Mississippi," said Garcia.

Garcia says the bullying legislation is her platform, and something she identifies with.

"I had it happen to me when I was younger. My family didn't have a lot of money so my clothes weren't exactly the most expensive, and my brother had a learning disability. So, bullying is obviously close to me as well," said Garcia.

With months of preparation for the Miss USA pageant ahead of her, one wonders if she constantly thinks "what if", but Garcia says she taking it all one step at a time.

"I think that if it is in God's plans than I will love it. I think there is lots of things that I could contribute to being Miss USA and it will just be one extra thing I could just check off," said Garcia.