Four Natchez young ladies will compete for Miss Natchez Hospitality honor on Sunday

Published 4:01 pm Friday, March 1, 2024

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NATCHEZ — Pretty Girls with Brains is set to host its inaugural competition to crown Miss Natchez Hospitality 2024.

The triumphant candidate will vie for the title of Miss Mississippi Hospitality in July and will hold the prestigious title of Miss Natchez Hospitality.

The event is scheduled to take place at the Natchez Convention Center on Sunday, March 3, at 2 p.m.

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This competition aims to boost self-assurance, enhance public speaking skills, and provide participants with valuable exposure. The winner of this local pageant will serve as the representative of Natchez, holding the title of Miss Natchez Hospitality for an entire year.

The fortunate winner will also receive sponsorship funds to partake in the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Pageant. Contestants in this competition will have the chance to compete for more than $100,000 in scholarships and prizes, including cash rewards and college-granted funds. The crowned Mississippi Miss Hospitality will be awarded a grand prize package totaling $25,000.

Contestants in Sunday’s contest include:

Ainsley Camille Wills is the daughter of Molly Speed and Gary Wills. She attends Cathedral High School and plans to attend Mississippi State University next fall, majoring in Communications with a minor in Broadcasting and Journalism. Ainsley dreams one day of hosting the local news. Her favorite quote is, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you” by Fred Devito.

Keaura Mearday is the daughter of LaTroya Washington. She attends Natchez Early College Academy at Co-Lin and plans to obtain a dual master’s in communications and human development and Family Science from Mississippi State University. Keura plans to pursue a career in Sports Media and a concentration in Youth Development. Her motto is “If God be for you, who can be against you?”

Ashleigh Valerie Johnson is the daughter of Valerie Meng and David Johnson. She is currently a full-time student at Copiah Community College in Natchez and plans to pursue a career in Epidemiology. Ashleigh’s favorite quote is “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” by Nelson Mandela.

Lena Unga is the daughter of Tomasi Unga and Rebecca Fielder. She is currently a full-time student at Alcorn School of Nursing in Natchez where she is pursuing a bachelor’s in nursing. After completion, she plans to become a NICU nurse and/or a flight nurse for The United States Air Force. Her motto is “The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach for hearts is wise.”

To be eligible for the Miss Natchez Hospitality Pageant, contestants must meet the following criteria:

Age requirement: Contestants must be between 18 and 24 years old. Those under 21 will need parental/guardian consent.

Educational status: Contestants must be currently enrolled in high school or post-secondary school.

Residency: Contestants should either be born in the City of Natchez or be a current resident of Adams County if they wish to represent the city.

Legal and moral standing: Contestants must have no criminal record, felony, or any convictions, and must possess excellent moral character.

Application fees: All contestants are required to pay a $25 application fee to be eligible to enter.

Health and mental well-being: Contestants should be in good health and of sound mind throughout the pageant process.

Marital status and pregnancy: Contestants should not be married, have ever been married, had a marriage annulled, or be pregnant.

Academic performance: Maintain at least a C average or above.

Professionalism: Contestants should not have posed or been photographed or filmed nude or semi-nude for publication, film, or internet.

Consent for media coverage: All contestants must grant consent for Pretty Girls with Brains to televise, record, or video the pageant.

During the competition, participants will engage in the following categories:

Interview Competition (40% of the total score): Contestants will wear a suit or dress and participate in a five-minute interview with a panel of at least three judges.

Community Commercial Competition (15% of the total score): Contestants will model an individually chosen cocktail dress on stage and present a 20-second commercial about their community.

On-Stage Interview Competition (15% of the total score): Contestants will have a short on-stage interview with the emcee.

Evening Gown Competition (30% of the total score): Contestants will model an individually chosen evening gown on stage.

This exciting event promises to be a platform for talented and accomplished young women to showcase their skills and vie for the coveted title of Miss Natchez Hospitality. For more information contact Ashley Murray or Bettye Bell at 601-456-2002.