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BA grad seeking state Miss Hospitality title and crown

Madalyn Oglesby wants a career as a nurse anesthetist, but for now she wants to wear a sparkly crown and show off the Magnolia State as Miss Hospitality.

The 18-year-old Brookhaven Academy graduate leaves Sunday for Miss Hospitality Week in Hattiesburg. Oglesby, the daughter of Tim and Valarie Oglesby of Brookhaven, is representing Lincoln County in the 68th annual state pageant July 20-21.

She’s already a goodwill ambassador for her home county so now she’s aiming for the state title.

“From the Mississippi Delta to the Mississippi Gulf Coast you will always find a warm helping hand, a sincere smile and a heartfelt welcome from just about everyone you meet,” Oglesby wrote in her application for the pageant. “Mississippian’s set goals, work hard to achieve them, help others in need and always enjoy visiting with family and friends on the front porch with a tall glass of sweet tea.”

She’ll have to sell herself through her knowledge of Lincoln County and the state as she is grilled by a panel of judges who will want to know her ambitions, goals and personal interests. She’ll go through one-on-one judges’ interviews as well.

For the speech competition, Oglesby will have 90 seconds to present an original speech based on the question, “How would you promote our state to a visitor of Mississippi?”

Oglesby must present an original 20-second commercial about her city or county during the competition. She chose to feature the Home Seekers Paradise sign that is erected across Cherokee Street at Whitworth Avenue. The original sign was taken down to be donated to a scrap metal drive during World War II. It was replaced in the early 90s.

Oglesby will also be scored during an evening gown competition.

That’s a lot of dresses and all have been purchased locally.

“I have so many dresses for everything,” she said.

Oglesby earned several academic honors in high school as well as several athletic honors for cheerleading and soccer. She is involved with several organizations including Brookhaven Animal Rescue League, Junior Auxiliary, Doll’s House, Exchange Club and Casa de Fe.

She’s been working with Katie Nations, program director at the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, to prepare for this competition.

“Madalyn has been a joy getting to know,” Nations said. “She is the epitome of ‘Miss Hospitality.’ She is poised, gracious and, most importantly, hospitable. We are looking forward to the state pageant and know she will present Lincoln County and Brookhaven well.”

The teenager is looking forward to the competition.

“Everyone that goes through it have all told me this is a life-changing experience and they enjoyed it and made lifelong friends,” she said.