April 20, 2019 9:58:34 PM
After winning the title of Miss Southern Oaks in district competition, Evans Rhett, 15, of Columbus takes part this week in the Miss Mississippi Oustanding Teen competition in Vicksburg. The Heritage Academy sophomore is an honor student and member of the varsity cheer squad.
Outstanding Teen, a division of the Miss America program, is for young ladies 14-17 who compete in formal interview, talent, fitness, evening gown modeling and on-stage question. Contestants must also develop platforms that benefit Mississippi communities.
Rhett's platform is "Wake Up for Down Syndrome," chosen in honor of her cousin, Wake, born with Down syndrome disorder. Rhett hopes to raise money for educational items for Down syndrome children in schools, hospitals and homes and increase awareness of their needs. She has already raised several hundred dollars with an event at her school on World Down Syndrome Awareness Day.
Rhett, the daughter of Victoria Beard Stockton and Chris Rhett, will sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" for her talent.
Another facet of Outstanding Teen is a social media challenge in which contestants share experiences as they prepare for state competition. In answer to the challenge question, "Why did you choose to compete in MMSOT and what do you look forward to most in Vicksburg?" Rhett said, " ... I was encouraged to do so by someone who has always encouraged me to share my singing with others. I am looking forward to seeing all the work I have done to prepare ... come into play on the stage in Vicksburg. I can't wait to make new friends I will have forever. I want make a difference, and I want to make my state proud!"
The Miss America organization is a leading advocate for women's education and a leader in scholarship assistance to young women.