Competition only part of fun for Huff

Published 5:00 am Monday, June 26, 2006

For Heather Huff, 17, of Gloster, getting all dressed up andbeing on stage is only half the fun of a pageant. The other half ismeeting new people and making friends, she said.

Huff, a senior at West Lincoln Attendance Center and daughter ofDarwin and Wanda Huff, is thrilled to compete for the title of MissMississippi’s Outstanding Teen on June 28.

She will bring past experience to the upcoming pageant. Huff wascrowned Southern Magnolia’s Outstanding Teen in February, thepreliminary pageant to the state competition this week inVicksburg.

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Huff said the moment was so exciting she doesn’t even rememberwhat was going through her mind. But she knows she couldn’t keep astraight face.

“I was giggling the whole time,” she said. “I don’t think Istopped smiling until I went to bed that night.”

Although Huff enjoys the complete pageant experience, the nightof the event usually becomes a whirlwind of activity, she said.

“Usually by the time I actually get on stage, I’m tired and myfeet are hurting. So what is usually going through my mind is ‘justkeep smiling,'” she said.

Huff realizes the value of a supportive family and considersherself lucky to have grown up in such an environment.

“My mother has always been my best friend,” she said. “Anytime Ineed anything I can go to her, and I know that she will be therefor me.”

She said her father has also been her mentor and coach.

“Through the years, he has taught me almost everything I knowabout softball and worked with me to improve,” she said.

Huff is also proud of her ethnic heritage, proving herappreciation for her family’s background. She is part German fromher great grandfather and part American Indian from her great-greatgrandmother.

And Huff’s biggest goal for the future is to be a mother. Shewants to have a family of her own and continue to pass on the loveher family has shown to her, she said.

Huff plans to go to a community college after graduation. Shethen plans to attend the University of Mississippi where she willstudy law.

For her platform, “Improving the Lives of Our Children,” Huffhas served with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and donatedclothes and other items to children in need.

“Spending time with younger children always makes me feel goodbecause whether you realize it or not, younger children reallythink the world of older people, especially people my age,”shesaid.

Also, her involvement with the boys and girls club has taughther lessons about life and about herself.

“Little kids always want to win,” she said. “I’ve always beencompetitive, so I’ve had to sit back and learn not to take myselfso seriously. It’s good to see them so happy.”