Recent weeks have been a “whirlwind” for Grenada High School student Presley Caldwell.
On April 30, she was crowned Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen at the pageant in Vicksburg while competing as Miss Northland’s Outstanding Teen.
Since then, she has finished her junior year of high school, promoted her pageant platform, and prepared for the upcoming Miss America Outstanding Pageant.
She leaves at the end of this week for Orlando, where the national competition runs from July 21-28.
“I have been very busy,” she said, “but is so exciting to meet new people and share my platform, which promotes awareness of melanoma skin cancer.”
Caldwell said she chose the platform because she lost a grandparent to melanoma. She has been speaking to clubs and at schools about the risks of not using sunscreen. It is now her mission to have sunscreen dispensers placed in every community.
Caldwell has been working with Miss Mississippi officials to prepare for next week’s competition. The same officials are also working with the new Miss Mississippi Asya Branch as she prepares for the Miss America pageant.
The competition has four divisions: interview, fitness, evening gown and talent.
Her first preliminary is July 24, evening gown and onstage question. On July 25 compete in fitness, which involves doing exercises on stage.
Talent is set for July 26. Although Caldwell sang the Eagles’ “Desperado” in the state pageant, she has chosen “Anyway” by Martina McBride for the national. “It’s such a beautiful song and message,” she said. “I love it.”
The top 10 finalists out of 51 contestants will be selected on July 28. They will be compete for a $30,000 scholarship.
Caldwell said it would be “wonderful” to have that to go with the $5,000 scholarship she won in May.
Her plans are to attend Mississippi State University to pursue a career in physical therapy.
Caldwell is the daughter of David and Candace Mayhan and Frank Caldwell. She is a National Honor Society student at GHS and performs with Visions Showchoir. She is also on the golf team.
To send cards and letters of encouragement to Caldwell while she is in Florida, you may use this address:
Rosen Centre Hotel c/o the Concierge
Attn: Presley Caldwell, MMSOT Teen
9840 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819