Helena Hansen to Represent Pearl River County in Mississippi Miss Hospitality Competition

Published 9:24 am Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Helena Hansen, 18, will represent Pearl River County in the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Competition, scheduled for July 12-13. Hansen is a sophomore at the University of Mississippi, majoring in mechanical engineering with an emphasis on manufacturing. At Ole Miss, she is a Grove Scholar, a member of the Center for Manufacturing, an Alpha Omicron Pi member, and part of Access for All. In her free time, Hansen enjoys crocheting, playing with her service dog, Remi, and cooking seafood with her family.

Hansen has a tachycardia heart condition, which was discovered following a car accident in 2020. She has successfully managed the condition and adjusted her lifestyle while transitioning to college during the pandemic. Hansen noted that the community in Mississippi and at Ole Miss had accommodated her and Remi.

She believes her condition provides an opportunity to highlight the experiences of those living with a disability.

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Hansen’s interest in the Miss Hospitality competition was inspired by her mother, who competed in the event 25 years ago. Moving away to college made Hansen appreciate her community and county more, leading to her decision to participate.

Hansen is the first contestant to compete with a service animal in the competition, which presents unique challenges. She and Remi are preparing for the event with assistance from her Alpha Omicron Pi sisters.

Hansen encourages anyone living with a disability or going through tough times to “Don’t let anyone dim your light.”