Miss Tupelo Asya Branch crowned 2018 Miss Mississippi

Published 11:58 pm Saturday, June 23, 2018

And the winner is Miss Tupelo Asya Branch.

Wiping tears from her eyes, Branch was heard saying, “This does not feel real,” shortly after being crowned 2018 Miss Mississippi Saturday night at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

This year’s was the 61st Miss Mississippi pageant in Vicksburg.

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“It is just a whirlwind honestly. There is so much. I am still trying to fathom the fact that I was crowned Miss Mississippi. Like this is not my local Tupelo crown anymore, this is the Miss Mississippi 2018’s crown on my head. It is me. It is real. It is unbelievable,” Branch said.

Branch is a third-time competitor in the Miss Mississippi Pageant and was a swimsuit preliminary winner in Wednesday night’s competition.

For the talent phase of the competition, she sang, “One Moment in Time.”

With all the excitement, Branch said she would probably not even sleep tonight.

“I will be wide-awake and pumped. I will sign my contract and I will take on the job as Miss Mississippi and prepare my absolute hardest for Miss America,” she said.

Branch is a student at the University of Mississippi where she is studying broadcast journalism and her platform is Empowering Children of Incarcerated Parents.

Branch’s father is serving time in prison, but she still had plenty of family support during the week.

“My mom was able to come for all four days of competition and it has been an honor having her out there supporting me,” she said.

Also, Branch’s aunt and cousin came from Michigan for the competition.

“I can’t thank them enough,” she said.

Along with the Miss Mississippi title and crown, Branch receives a $10,000 scholarship.

At the beginning of Saturday’s competition, the top 10 plus a People’s Choice contestant were named and re-competed in talent, swimwear and eveningwear.

Then the top seven re-competed in the on-stage question phase of the competition.Miss New South Tanner Fant was named first runner up and was awarded a $7,500 scholarship; Miss Northland Holly Harrington of Tupelo was second runner up and was awarded two $2,500 scholarships totaling $5,000; Miss Pontotoc Ridge Dana Wesley of West Point was third runner up and was awarded two $1,500 scholarships totaling $3,000 and Miss University of Southern Mississippi Macy Mitchell of Petal was fourth runner up and was awarded a $2,500 scholarship.

Rounding out the top eleven were Miss University Charley Ann Nix of Batesville, Miss Dixie Rachel Shumaker of Pontotoc, Miss Red Carpet City Leah Gibson of Starkville, Miss Neshoba County Fair Abby Stokes of Philadelphia, Miss Vicksburg Blair Wortsmith of Little Rock, Ark. and Miss North Central Mississippi Brooke Bullock of Petal.

The six semifinalists each earned $2,000 scholarships provided by the Miss Mississippi Corp.

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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