Miss Mississippi visits PRC

Published 11:47 pm Tuesday, December 2, 2008

“Would you rather be well-liked or well-respected?”

This was the question presented to the young women of Pearl River Central High School by Miss Mississippi, Christine Kozlowski of D’Iberville, last Monday. She spent the day traveling to all the schools in the Pearl River County School District, discussing her platform and addressing young women on health and self-esteem issues. She also took a few minutes to sing “God Bless America” to her attentive audience in the high school’s gymnasium.

Before she got on her way to visit all of the schools, Kozlowski enjoyed a reception in her honor held at the Pearl River County School District board office. Refreshments were served while she posed for pictures with Dennis Penton, Superintendent of Education; Nina Guthrie, Assistant Superintendent; several board members and the different schools’ representatives.

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After breakfast she headed for the upper and lower elementary schools. Editing her speeches for the different aged audiences she faced at PRC on Monday, Kozlowski took the opportunity to discuss her platform, Diabetes Advocates Nourishing Children’s Education, or more simply D.A.N.C.E., with all of the students. She was introduced to each audience by Anna Kae Frierson, local Miss Outstanding Teen.

For her younger audiences in the upper and lower elementary schools, Kozlowski used an interactive approach to capture and hold the young students’ attention. She started by asking how many of them knew people with Diabetes, heart conditions and breathing problems — she commented on the large number of hands held high in the air.

Reaching the high school at the end of the day, Kozlowski talked to a mature group about how she struggled to reach some of her achievements such as when she became a homecoming maid and how she ultimately became president of the student body. She told them that her biggest struggle in the pageant world was being able to stand in front of the judges and answer questions.

“I shook, I rambled, I cracked my knuckles — I did all of the things you are not supposed to do,” she said.

Towards the end of her speech, she explained to the young women that they will be expected to make choices in life, difficult choices that may influence how they are seen by others. In the end, she made it clear that in her life she would rather make decisions that would earn her others’ respect.

She also challenged the young ladies to consider entering the Miss and Teen Gulf Coast pageant — a pageant she entered and won before moving on to compete for the state crown.

Kozlowski will represent the state of Mississippi at the 84th Miss America Pageant on January 24 held in Paradise, Nev.