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Get to know this year's Miss University, Kayla Snow

 

Soon after the alternates have been named, one contestant gets a faint smile from over the shoulder of one of her friends also participating in the Miss University pageant. 

She knows she has done pretty well because she already has two preliminaries, Best Interview and Best Evening Gown, but at this point, any of the remaining girls on stage could win. 

The announcer’s voice comes out of the speakers in the Ford Center, and Kayla Snow’s life changes forever.

But at the moment, she thinks she has lost her hearing. The crowd is standing and clapping their hands. 

There is an uproar of voices cheering for the newly crowned Miss University, but Snow is at a loss.

“People ask me how it felt, and I just tell them, ‘I didn’t know how to feel,’” she said. “I just felt shocked, really, I just felt so shocked. Everything happened so quickly that I wish I could go back to that moment and watch it replay over and over.”

The 21-year-old biochemistry major is applying to pharmacy school and plans to further her education after graduation in May, but she’s had her eye on the Miss Mississippi title since her first pageant when she was 15 years old. After competing in the Miss Mississippi Outstanding Teen program, Snow learned about the Miss Mississippi Pageant and set her sights on the prize.

“One of the questions that they asked me was, ‘What would I tell somebody about the America program?’ and I told them that it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me,” Snow said. “I mean, it helped me realize that I can be this young woman with dreams and aspirations, but I can also earn scholarship money for school as well.”

Growing up in Okolona, Snow said she saw firsthand the effects of volunteering and that is why she chose “Kids Can, Too!” as her platform to promote. The organization teaches children how to get started volunteering at an early age.

Snow wrote a book called “Karli Can, Too!” and reads it in schools to relate better to children concerning her platform. 

The story is about a young girl, Karli, who figures out that she can help others even when everyone else tells her she is too little. 

“Before I read my book, I ask them, ‘Has anyone ever told them that they are too small to do something?’ and of course they all raise their hands,” Snow said. “So they can relate with the character, Karli, in that aspect and hopefully realize that they can be helpful to others.”

Not only does Snow have the opportunity to make children aware of volunteering, but she also intends to emphasize it on the University of Mississippi campus. 

She hopes to have a part in The Big Event and other volunteer opportunities for students.

This year was Snow’s second time to hit the Miss University stage, and it will also be her second attempt at the Miss Mississippi title. Last year, as Miss Mid-South, she went to Vicksburg and was able to gain experience, which Snow said she believes only made her a better contestant.

Snow said she feels honored to be chosen to represent the student body at the Miss Mississippi competition in July and looks forward to the process.

“It’s just self-improvement, wanting to represent your state, but at the same time becoming a better person all while earning scholarship money for school,” she said.