Pearl River County’s Jr. Miss heads to state competition

Published 12:42 am Sunday, July 18, 2010

America’s Junior Miss Scholarship Program has been a significant part of many high school girls lives across the country. According to the America’s Junior Miss website, the scholarship program aims to “inspire high school girls to develop their full, individual potential through a fun, transformative experience that culminates in a celebratory showcase of their accomplishments.”

This year America’s Junior Miss will celebrate a new name and one of our very own, Miss Hannah Nunez, will have the opportunity to claim it’s title for the state of Mississippi. America’s Junior Miss unveiled its new name of Distinguished Young Women at the 53rd National Finals on June 26th. The America’s Junior Miss organization feels that the new name better reflects the spirit of the scholarship program and that the change in name will help it be as successful in the future as it has been in the past.

On March 13th, Hannah Nunez, was crowned Pearl River County’s Jr. Miss at a program held in the Picayune Auditorium. This week Hannah, along with 38 other Jr. Miss title holders will travel to Meridian to compete for the new state title. Ginny Dodd, CO-chairperson of Pearl River County Jr. Miss said, “the whole town of Meridian really gets behind the program and the girls will be treated like stars throughout the week as they are chauffeured by their assigned drivers from event to event. Each contestant is also assigned a host family and a roommate who they will stay with throughout the week.”

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When asked what she looked forward to the most about the upcoming events in Meridian, Hannah replied, “I can’t wait to meet all the girls! I have heard from past Jr. Misses that it is one of the best parts of the week. They become great friends.”

Hannah is the daughter of Chuck and Kaysea Nunez. Some of Hannah’s academic accomplishments, memberships and hobbies include: Local and international missions, BASICS student choir and Promise Ensemble, Superintendent scholar, PMHS Student Council, High Tide Productions, PMHS Track and Field team, Civic Woman’s Club Juniorette’s and Competition Dance team. For the talent portion of the state competition, Hannah has chosen to perform a Ballet en Pointe to “Oklahoma! Overture” by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II.

Holding the title of Pearl River County Jr. Miss has its positives, and according to Hannah, the most positive thing to come from being the county’s Jr. Miss is all the support that everyone has shown. “So many people are behind me and it’s a great feeling knowing you have such a wonderful support group”, Hannah said. 

The three night competition will begin Thursday, July 22 in Meridian’s Temple Theater for the Performing Arts and will end with the crowning of Mississippi’s new Distinguished Young Woman on Saturday, July 24. Tickets for the state competition are on sale and can be obtained by calling 601-693-5353. Visa and Master Card are accepted. Should Hannah win the state title, she will then go on to compete for the annual national title and at least $150,000 in cash scholarships. The national Distinguished Young Women Scholarship Program will be held June 25 through 27, 2011 in Mobile, Alabama.

As Hannah prepares take her next step in the Distinguished Young Women Scholarship Program, she has some words of encouragement to pass along to her “Little Sisters” who will be competing next year for the title of Pearl River County’s Distinguished Young Woman.

 Hannah says, “Enjoy every moment of the journey. Just relax and have fun.”

 For those who would like to encourage Hannah while she is in Meridian, you may send her an e-mail at her Jr. Miss account  All e-mail correspondences are screened by DYW officials. For more information on Mississippi’s Distinguished Young Women visit their website at or