Ford dares to DREAM and encourage others

Published 9:35 am Monday, June 6, 2016

D-R-E-A-M is the acronym the 2016 Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Stella Ford uses for her platform.

The newly crowned rising high school senior is encouraging youth to have DESIRE, be RELENTESS, ENVISION and use ACTION and MOTIVATION to achieve one’s Dreams.

“Ever since I was little, my parents have always pushed me to go after what I love to do, which is singing, and I know now in today’s society kids get told ‘no’ that they can’t go after what they love to do. I feel like that’s a problem. Most kids really get strung down about that and they feel like they can’t accomplish what they want to accomplish, and I would really love to be that person that tells them they can reach for what ever they want to do.”

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Ford is also standing behind this conviction.

“One of the things I have done, is I gave away a $500 scholarship to a senior at my high school.”

The student sings and has been accepted to a performing arts school and will be able to use the scholarship to help with tuition.

“I wanted this to help encourage her.”

Ford said she also speaks to the students at her former elementary school about DREAM and looks forward to the opportunity where she can speak to people statewide.

“Now that I have the big title, I would love to carry that out,” she said.

In addition to promoting her platform, Ford said she also looks forward to having the opportunity to sing more and volunteering at the children’s hospital.

“I am really looking forward to volunteering at Blair E. Batson this summer.”

The Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant will be held in August and to prepare, Ford said she would be focusing on polishing up her skills.

“I defiantly need to have more mock interviews, and I think we are going to change my talent song so that will be interesting.”

The 17-year-old Brandon High School student said she takes voice lessons from James Martin, who teaches at Millsaps College.

“He went to Julliard and he is fantastic.”

Ford is the daughter of Craig and Wendy Ford of Brandon. She has one sister, Claudia, who is 11-years-old.

“She has been my biggest supporter,” Ford said.

Along with winning the title and crown, Ford was also the recipient of a $5,000 scholarship and additional scholarships and awards.

First alternate to Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen and the recipient of a $2,000 scholarship was Miss Meridian Liz Sprabery; Second alternate and recipient of a $1,200 scholarship Miss Magnolia Farrah Cox; third alternate and recipient of a $900 scholarship Miss Vicksburg Julianna Jackson; fourth alternate and recipient of a $600 scholarship Miss All-American City Grace Anne Kennedy.

The Miss Mississippi Pageant, which is the sister pageant to the teen pageant, is scheduled to run from June 22 through 25 at the Vicksburg Convention Center, 1600 Mulberry St. Tickets are $125 for all four nights, $30 for June 22 and 23, $40 for June 24 and $50 for June 25.
For more information, call 601-638-6746 or visit

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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