Emmie Perkins of Hattiesburg was crowned Miss Mississippi 2022 at the organization’s annual competition Saturday night in Vicksburg.
Perkins, an advocate for the arts who sang a rendition of Brandi Carlile’s “The Story” during the talent portion, came into the competition as the reigning Miss Mississippi State University.
Moments after receiving her crown from 2021 Miss Mississippi Holly Brand, Perkins said her younger self could have never imagined winning.
“I don’t think I would have ever imagined myself on this stage and in this role because I grew up doing theater. I never was a dancer, I never played sports, it never worked out for me, but when I found my love for the arts everything changed,” Perkins said. “To be standing where I am today is a testament to young girls that Miss America, Miss Mississippi, is a shape shifter. She fits the time that she is needed. I’m a representative of what it means to take your talents and gifts and pour it into this organization and be able to spread your true love to the state of Mississippi and now to Miss America.”
Asked what her younger self would say to her now, Perkins said, “Just one word: ‘Wow!’ And then, ‘Go get them. Follow those dreams and goals.'”
During the interview portion of the competition, Perkins was asked whether children’s use of technology like smartphones has a negative impact on their education. Perkins said despite negatives, she believes in technology as an educational tool.
“I think we need to focus on teaching kids what is important,” Perkins said. “We can use technology for the better.”
Joining Perkins in the top 10 candidates for Miss Mississippi 2022 were Charity Lockridge, Vivian O’Neal, McKay Lee Bray, Kaylin Costello, Angel Gail Lang, Katelyn Perry, Ally Hopper, Abigail Church and Karsyn Ulmer.
Lockridge finished as runner up, while Costello, O’Neal and Perry rounded out the Top 5.