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Meridian’s Holly Brand wins Outstanding Teen title

A teen representing the River City was crowned this year’s Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Sunday at the Vicksburg City Auditorium.

Miss Vicksburg’s Outstanding Teen Holly Brand, who is from Meridian, will represent the state in the 2017 Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant, which will be held in July in Orlando.

Brand, the daughter of Barry and Connie Brand, said she was shocked when she heard her name announced as the winner.

“I just stood there for a second in disbelief,” she said. “I have done this for three years and never thought this would happen. My birthday is Tuesday, so this is an early birthday present.”

The newly crowned teen, who is also the recipient of a $5,000 scholarship did not compete in last year’s competition and felt the year away, paid off.

“I think having that time to mature and really figuring out who I was and what I wanted to represent played a huge role in winning. I learned so much about myself,” she said.

During Sunday afternoon’s competition, the top ten were announced at the beginning of the pageant and competed again in talent, lifestyle and fitness, evening gown and on-stage question.

For the talent phase of the competition, Brand sang her rendition of the contemporary folk song “Up to the Mountain” and for the evening gown and on-stage question segment wore a red evening gown.

Brand’s platform that she will promote during her year of reign as Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen is Teddy Bears for Troopers, and she said she hopes she will be able to bring even more recognition to her cause.

“I want to get funding secured for a state bear, so troopers are always supplied with bears no matter what,” Brand said.

The bears are often used by Troopers to give to children when visiting hospitals or other events.

Brand, who will turn 17 Tuesday, said she has been collecting teddy bears and stuffed animals to give to state troopers to use for emergency situations since she was seven.

Named first alternate to Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen and the recipient of a $2,000 scholarship was Miss Pearl River Valley’s Outstanding Teen Mattie Grace Morris; Second alternate and recipient of a $1,200 scholarship Miss All-American City’s Outstanding Teen Morgan Harris; Third alternate and recipient of a $900 scholarship Miss Pride of the South’s Outstanding Teen Julieanna Jackson; Fourth alternate and recipient of a $600 scholarship Miss Tupelo’s Outstanding Teen Kaylin Costello.

The five remaining semi-finalist each received a $400 scholarship; Miss Jones County’s Outstanding Teen Madeline Holmes; Miss Amory’s Outstanding Teen Rachel Canup; Miss Desoto County’s Outstanding Teen Anne Allen Hodge; Miss Southern Magnolia’s Outstanding Teen Annabelle Bunch; Miss Warren County’s Outstanding Teen Abigayle Vance.

 

Additional 2017 Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen cash scholarships include:

  • $150 Scholarship provided to each preliminary talent winner by the Outlets at Vicksburg

Miss Jones County’s Outstanding Teen Madeline Holmes and Miss Pearl River Valley’s Outstanding Teen Mattie Grace Morris

  • $150 Scholarship provided to each preliminary evening wear/on-stage question winner by Simmons Erosion Control, Inc., Chris and Jennie Simmons and the Miss Mississippi Corporation

Miss Vicksburg’s Outstanding Teen Holly Brand, Miss Pride of the South’s Outstanding Teen Julieanna Jackson, Miss Southern Magnolia’s Outstanding Teen Annabelle Bunch and Miss All-America City’s Outstanding Teen Morgan Harris

  • $200 Scholarship provided to the overall talent winner sponsored by the Family of Stella Ford

Miss Pearl River Valley’s Outstanding Teen Mattie Grace Morris

  • $200 Scholarship provided to the overall lifestyle and fitness winner sponsored by Don and Kathryn Resio

Miss Pearl River Valley’s Outstanding Teen Mattie Grace Morris

  • $200 Scholarship provided to the overall evening wear/on-stage question winner sponsored by Earl and Gwen Edris and the Miss Mississippi Corporation

Miss Vicksburg’s Outstanding Teen Holly Brand and Miss Pride of the South’s Outstanding Teen Julieanna Jackson

  • $200 Scholarship provided to the overall scholastic winner sponsored by Johnny and Annie Reynolds, Sr.

Miss Desoto County’s Outstanding Teen Anne Allen Hodge

  • $200 Scholarship provided to the overall interview winner sponsored by Winky and Debbie Freeman

Miss Vicksburg’s Outstanding Teen Holly Brand

  • $200 Scholarship provided to the overall platform winner sponsored by Mark and Lorin Lewis

Miss Jones County’s Outstanding Teen Madeline Holmes

  • $100 Cash Award to the Miss Congeniality Award winner sponsored by Morgan Burnett Norman, Molly May, Anne Elizabeth Buys, and Grace Munro

Miss Amory’s Outstanding Teen Rachel Canup

  • $350 Wayne J. Sutter memorial scholarship provided to the contestant selling the most salute pages, sponsored by Tammy D. Folger-Sutter

Miss Southern Magnolia’s Outstanding Teen Annabelle Bunch

  • $200 Scholarship to the top non-finalist sponsored by Jim and Ashley Thompson

Miss North Central Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Kennedy Corey

  • $200 Debra Franco School of Dance Scholarship to a non-finalist contestant with the highest dance talent score

Miss Belle of the Bayou’s Outstanding Teen Grace McAllister

  • $500 Mississippi Choice Scholarship to the contestant receiving the most on-line votes

Miss Amory’s Outstanding Teen Rachel Canup

  • $250 Social Media Scholarship to the contestant who best promotes the pageant brand and herself during the 19-day period leading up to the crowning of the new Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen

Miss Southern Magnolia’s Outstanding Teen Annabelle Bunch and Miss Pride of the South’s Outstanding Teen Julieanna Jackson

 

Miss Mississippi Pageant coming soon:

The Miss Mississippi Pageant, the sister pageant to the teen pageant, is scheduled to run from June 21 through 23 with the final night of competition and crowning on June 24. All competitions will begin at 8 p.m. at the Vicksburg Convention Center, 1600 Mulberry St., and tickets for all four nights are $125.

Tickets for the pageant are available by calling the pageant office or by visiting the Miss Mississippi Pageant website.