she prepares for the Miss Mississippi Pageant in July, Miss Southern
Carrie Parker of Laurel will be busy promoting her platform, "Arts
Parker, a senior
broadcast journalism major at The University of Southern Mississippi,
won the title Saturday at the pageant on the Southern Miss campus.
She bested nine contestants for the right to compete at the Miss
Mississippi Pageant in July.
a junior from Pearl, was voted first alternate. Olivia Grey Pritchard,
a senior from Hattiesburg, was second alternate, followed by Natasha
Casely-Hayford, a junior from West Point, third alternate, and Sanja
Johnson, a senior from Gulfport, fourth alternate.
to bring more attention to the need for increased funding for arts
programs in education and to increase the public awareness of the
importance of arts education for Mississippi's children.
probably be speaking on campus and around the state about the importance
of arts education," she said.
she has been involved in the arts all of her life. She has been
involved in several theater, dance and music programs for children
in public schools and churches in the area. She said through her
contact with these children, she believes many young people and
their parents have come to realize the importance of the arts to
to do a paper as a freshman on arts in education, and it just stuck
with me, some of the statistics that showed the positive impact
on academic achievement the arts can have," she said.
Parker is the
daughter of Neal and Judi Holifield of Laurel and John and Brenda
Parker of Hattiesburg. Brenda is the host of WDAM-TV's Midday Show.
at winning the title, Parker had been out of serious pageant competition
since she won the Jones County Junior Miss title in 1999.
very shocking (to win Miss Southern)," she said. "All
day I prayed to be an alternate, and then they didn't call me for
that so I was completely shocked when they called my name
(as the winner).
cry....but I couldn't quit shaking."