By Sheena Barnett/Daily Journal
FULTON – It was with a cool confidence that Chelsea Rick was crowned Miss Mississippi on Saturday.
The pageant in Vicksburg was the Fulton native’s fifth state competition.
“For half a decade I’ve spent my summers in Vicksburg at competition. I’m always a nervous wreck, but this year I felt very peaceful about everything. I’d done everything I knew I could do,” Rick said in a phone interview with the Daily Journal on Wednesday.
“I prepared as I was preparing for Miss America,” she said. “When they said my name, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. (This) was my first childhood dream.”
Rick, who is also Miss Amory Railroad Festival, won a $10,000 scholarship. She is taking a year off from William Carey University, where she’s studying to become a internal medicine physician, to serve as Miss Mississippi and prepare for the
Miss America pageant, which is Sept. 15.
“I’ve always been aware (being Miss Mississippi) would be a steppingstone to lead to a life of service,” Rick said.
She hopes to spend her year as Miss Mississippi promoting her platform, “Full Plates, Healthy States,” which focuses on childhood hunger and nutrition.
Less than a week since she was crowned, Rick already has visited children in a Jackson hospital.
“I loved that,” she said. “One person can make a difference by mobilizing others.”
She also hopes to work with Children’s Miracle Network, which the Miss America pageant supports.
She’s already started her prep work for Miss America, including filling out plenty of paperwork. She’ll perform the same song she sang at Miss Mississippi – “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man” from the Broadway musical “Showboat” – but she needs to pick a new swimsuit and evening gown. She’s in the process of moving to Vicksburg so she can continue her prep work.
“It’s about keeping yourself ready and keeping that momentum daily,” Rick said.
There will be a homecoming for Rick in Amory from Aug. 8-10.