Local Junior Misses vie for state title

Published 8:04 pm Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pearl River County Junior Miss Jordan Marie Kellar and Picayune Junior Miss Sarah “Simmie” Marie Travis will be traveling to Meridian to compete in the state 2008 Jr. Miss pageant held in Meridian on July 29-31.

Jordan Kellar is the daughter of Dwayne and Jamie Kellar. Her talent at the local competition was a tap dance to “On Broadway”. She won the talent and fitness awards as well at the March 24 local Jr. Miss competition.

Kellar is the Co-Captain of the varsity cheerleading squad at Pearl River Central High School and was named UCA All Star Cheerleader. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the secretary of the Student Council, vice president of the Blue Maskers Drama Troupe, a member of the Crown Club, and was named to Who’s Who Among American High School Students.

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Kellar enjoys dancing, cheerleading, acting which she exhibits in her school activities. Her other interests include four-wheeler riding along the creek with her family, shopping and listening to old music.

Simmie Travis is the daughter of Gregg and Ramona Travis of Picayune. Her talent is playing the piano and she played, “The Great Smoky Mountains” at the local pageant. She was the Coca-Cola Classic Scholastic winner, as well as winning the interview and self-expression awards.

Since winning the local title, she has volunteered at the Stennis Space Center 2007 Special Olympics as an athlete’s escort. She spoke to summer elementary students at Southside and Nicholson school about “Be Your Best Self” which is the self- esteem platform for the Junior Miss program. She supported the Welcome Center’s Hospitality Month, and has visited with residents at Picayune Convalescent and Rehab Home. Currently, she is attending the Lott Leadership Institute at Ole Miss.

Travis has maintained a 4.0 grade point average since she was in the seventh grade. She has received numerous awards including, the Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Award and nominee for the 2007 “Lead America Youth Leadership Conference”; first place in Engineering Challenge Project in 2006 in the Mississippi State University Women in Science and Engineering Program, and was named to Who’s Who Among American High School Students.

Runner-ups for Picayune are Jessica Smith, first; and Emily Alexander, second.

The runner-ups for Pearl River County are Alex Franklin, first and Savannah Smith of Poplarville, second.

Some of the scholarships available for participants who have a high ACT score and maintain above a 3.5 grade point average are full tuition and waiver of out-of-state fees at Judson College and Troy State University in Ala. Other awards are for state winners who can receive from $,500 to full tuition, room and board renewable for four years. Talent winners look forward to tuitions paid and out of state fees waived.

Taylor Phillips of Versailles, Ky. was named America’s Junior Miss for 2006. She won a total of $74,075 in cash scholarships which included a $50,000 cash scholarship to be used at the college of her choice. In the past forty-nine years, the local, state and national programs have awarded $87.7 million.