By Ginger Schmidt
PICAYUNE — If the thousand-watt smile doesn't give it away, two seconds of a conversation with Alexandra M. Parker of Picayune will let you know that you are speaking to a young woman who's going places. She sets goals and meets them with the latest being a very successful trip to the state Jr. Miss Pageant in Meridian.
While she didn't take the crown, such as her local idol Lindsey Miller did back in 2001, Parker managed to earn awards in talent, fitness, spirit and she placed in the top four out of a total of 43 very accomplished young women from around the state. Parker came home as second alternate with more than $6,000 in scholarship dollars. With loads of community support, her accomplishments are being celebrated by many in her hometown.
"I will have 42 bridesmaids," said Parker speaking of the close bond she formed with the other young women in the pageant, which took place last month. "It was so much fun."
While Parker has participated in several pageants, she feels like her experience with Junior Miss was amazing and one she will never forget. "I cried, not because I thought I would win, but because I was so proud of myself," she said.
Speaking highly of the organizers of the Junior Miss Pageant, Parker said all the participants were treated like queens in Meridian. The contestants enjoyed several days of organized activities such as Karaoke Night, a Hawaiian luau and a visit to a local water park.
The city of Meridian and its residents, as always, were wonderful hosts. The entire community celebrated the pageant and its contestants. Parker was also very fond of the host family she stayed with throughout the week.
Parker is the daughter of Ivan and Edna Parker and a student at Picayune Memorial High School. She has a brother named Michael J. Parker.
At the local level, in addition to earning the title of Picayune Junior Miss, she also won the Sam Adkins Be your Best Self award and the Coca-Cola Scholastic award. The Picayune/Pearl River County Jr. Miss competition was held earlier this year.
Parker's career goals include musical theatre or mass communications. Her college of choice is NYU-Tisch School of the Arts, which she will audition for in November.
Her achievements and activities include being an active member of Pilgrim Bound Baptist Church, being the Captain of the Pride of the Tide Dance Team and being a member of the Juniorettes. She served as class president for her 9th, 10th and 11th grade years, she was Who's Who Among American High School Students, she won M.H.A.A. Best Supporting Actress in 2005, she was a member of Mike Miller's Dance/Macy's Parade in 2006 and she was 4th runner up in Mississippi's Outstanding Teen Pageant in 2007.
As Parker begins to seek out her career path, she will undoubtedly continue to bring honor and pride to her hometown. Congratulations to Alex for all of her past, present and future achievements.