October 30, 2011 9:33:00 AM
On the weekend of Nov. 3-5, young ladies from all across the state will vie for the title of Miss Mississippi Teen USA 2012 in Tunica. One of them will be 17-year-old Amber Leigh Cheezum, a senior at New Hope High School in Lowndes County.
"I'm very honored to be part of this," said Cheezum, the daughter of Mark and Debbie Cheezum, and Dawn Cheezum. "I believe it's a great opportunity in many ways."
Cheezum played soccer for the Lady Trojans for four years, and also ran cross country and track. The Beta Club member is also involved in the AP Ambassadors program at New Hope.
"If I'm not outdoors, I'll most like be hanging out with friends or family or studying for a test. I also enjoy sewing and painting," said the student, who will compete as Miss Lowndes County for college scholarships and other awards.
The Miss Mississippi Teen USA pageant is an official preliminary to the Miss Teen USA competition. The winner in Tunica will go on to represent the Magnolia State in the nationwide pageant.
"I believe this experience can be a real opportunity to gain friendships and a better understanding of myself and what I stand for," said Cheezum, who plans to enter Bevill State Community College after graduation from high school. She hopes to have a career in pediatric nursing. "I really have to thank my family and friends for their support and the chance to take part in this life-changing event."
To date, three Mississippi teens have won the Miss Mississippi USA pageant and competed at Miss USA.