Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4061 - Brittany Davis-Green - firstname.lastname@example.org
CLARKSDALE – It was a royal affair on the campus of Coahoma Community College as royal courts from area high schools joined CCC royalty for a special appearance by Miss Mississippi 2014 Jasmine Murray Monday.
There was standing room only in the Magnolia Room of the Zee A. Barron Student Union as more than 250 local students and community members came out to hear Murray’s inspirational message as well as for photo opportunities and autographs.
A native of Columbus, MS, a student a Mississippi State University and a finalist on the popular television singing competition “American Idol”, Murray was crowned Miss Mississippi July 12, receiving with the honor a hefty scholarship. Her visit marks the first official Miss Mississippi appearance on CCC’s campus since Toni Seawright in 1989; Murray’s predecessor, Miss Mississippi Chelsea Rick, paid a short visit to the campus during a trip to Clarksdale this summer.
Murray used the opportunity to share information about herself and her platform, “13 going on 30: Teaching Young Girls to Embrace Their Age”, which encourages teens to make wise decisions and find mentors and role models who to help them achieve their goals. Murray’s visit ended with tons of photos and autographs to students.
The program opened with a welcome from Miss CCC Lauren Williams followed by an introduction of Murray by CCC’s Director of Enrollment and Student Services Karen Done and later remarks by CCC President Dr. Valmadge Towner. It also included a performance by the CCC Women’s Ensemble and a special selection of John Legend’s “All of Me” by Murray.
A poised Murray took the podium and began her speech giving students some background on what the Miss America organization is all about.
“It’s not just a beauty pageant; the Miss America organization is one of the largest scholarship programs for women across the United States,” said Murray.
She said she was inspired to vie for the title by her older sister who competed for the title of Miss Mississippi twice.
“She really inspired me to get involved because I saw her give herself selflessly to her community,” she said.
Murray then discussed her personal platform, named for the movie "13 Going On 30". She said she was inspired to begin the movement at just 15-years-old after seeing the affects an unplanned teen pregnancy had on one of her best friend’s life.
“I saw her life change drastically. I saw her go from being a child to having the responsibility of being a parent, which is a life-altering decision,” said Murray. “I want girls all over the world to understand that you need to wait to make those types of decisions, that you have your entire life ahead of you to be a mom.”
Murray said despite the hardship, with determination and faith, her friend was still able to go on and achieve great things.
“I encourage all of you, whatever decision you’re facing, whatever difficulty you may be having right now, that doesn’t mean that it’s over for you. Life is all about making good choices and the decisions that you make today alter the person that you become tomorrow,” she said.
Murray also encouraged the students to find something that they love to do and go after it.
“For me that was always music. My mom had me involved in just about every choir you could think of, so I didn’t have a lot of free time on my hands. I’m thankful she did that because I think it kept me out of a lot of trouble and helped me to make good decisions.”
Murray closed referencing the scripture Jeremiah 29:11— “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” “My faith is very important to me,” said Murray. “I know that God has a plan, and sometimes our plan is a little but different than his plans but ultimately I want His plan. That’s also what I want for all you because I know that He has purpose for you.”
CLICK HERE to view more photos on CCC’s Facebook page!