HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A group of Miss America hopefuls were in Hattiesburg Sunday to begin preparations for the Miss Mississippi pageant.
The Leaf Foundation held an interview workshop with the young ladies to discuss different techniques for giving effective interviews and ways for the contestants to enhance their community service projects.
Many of the ladies said they were excited about the upcoming pageant, but are most excited about representing their respective platforms.
Miss Hattiesburg, Ivey Swan's platform is "The Arts: Road to Success."
"I have this little character, he's a personified paint brush and his name is Arty. I take Arty around with me to different schools around the state and talk about the importance of the arts to kids," Swan said.
Miss Leaf River Valley's Outstanding Teen, Zhariah Hubbard is focusing her attention on "All about you: A Mission of Acceptance."
"I focus on the three U's, you matter, you contribute and you fit and in, and it's basically inspiring youth across america to be who they are and love who they are be comfortable with themselves," Hubbard said.
Miss Turtle Creek's Outstanding Teen Brooklyn Mooney's platform is "Children's Mental Health Awareness."
"It's given me a voice to inspire all of these young boys and girls that they are not defined by what people tell them. They are beautiful and perfect just the way they are, and that's nothing to be ashamed of," Mooney added.
Jasmine Murray from the Leaf Foundation won Miss Mississippi and went on to compete for Miss America last year.