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Miss Mississippi readies for Miss America finale

Last Wednesday, Miss Mississippi Mary Margaret Hyer made her way to Uncasville, Conn. to compete in the Miss America Competition.

The Hattiesburg native will be the first Miss Mississippi to compete in what the Miss America organizers are calling “Miss America 2.0.”

“We have been pleased so far,” Miss Mississippi Corporation Executive Director David Blackledge said of this year’s changes.

Miss America 2.0 includes not only a change of venue, moving from Atlantic City to Uncasville but also changes to the competition itself.

The Miss America Organization will no longer judge candidates on appearance and have eliminated the swimsuit phase of the competition, as well as the evening gown phase.

In lieu of the swimsuit competition, candidates will have a live interactive session with the judges, where they will have the opportunity to highlight their achievements and goals in life.

The evening gown competition phase will now allow candidates the freedom to express themselves in evening attire of their choosing while also discussing how they plan to advance their social impact initiative.

Hyer’s impact statement is “Advocate, Celebrate, Donate: Decreasing the Donor Organ Deficit.”

In an interview after being crowned Miss Mississippi, Hyer said, her impact statement is very personal.

“This is a huge passion of mine, and it is something I feel so strongly about since it has affected my life personally,” Hyer said.

Hyer’s grandmother had been diagnosed with kidney failure in 2010 and eventually received a kidney from Hyer’s mother.

One aspect of the competition that has not changed is the talent phase, and on Monday night, Hyer had the opportunity to showcase her talent.

“She did very very well,” Blackledge said.

The final competition of the Miss America Competition will air Thursday at 7 p.m. on NBC.

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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