By Beth Cox
Johnson ‘County’s Miss Tennessee Outstanding Teen Taylor Parsons represented her county and her state with faith, dignity, and optimism at the Miss America Outstanding Teen competition in Orlando, Florida this weekend. Parsons competed with fifty-one other promising young women from across the country.
The JCHS senior received the honor of third runner-up and was awarded a $5000 scholarship. Parsons expected to make the top 15, so she was overjoyed to place third in the country.
“All I could do was say in my head, thank you, God, thank you, God, over and over again,” Parsons said, recalling the moment she heard her name called out as the third runner up. “To place third in the nation is a pretty big deal and to make the cut from 51 girls, I was overjoyed and humbly honored.”
Parsons also won preliminary talent award and Overall Dance Award for her fiery clogging routine to the song, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” She received an additional $1,000 for winning Overall Dance Award.
The talented teen was awarded altogether $9,000 in scholarship monies, which will undoubtedly help with her goal to someday be a pediatrician. She is happy with her collegiate funding awards, but the ambitious student will continue to search other scholarship opportunities.
“I will need all the help I can get since I plan to be in the medical field,” she said.
Although being in the MAOT was a one-time opportunity, Parsons has plenty to keep her busy until her reign ends as Miss Tennessee Outstanding Teen.
The Red Cross advocate will continue her message of blood donation through her MTOT platform, “The Color Red” and will continue to conduct interviews and speak at many events across the state.
“I am thankful to this organization that promotes service, style, scholarship, and success, and I am honored to continue to serve Tennessee for the rest of my reign.”
Parsons is glad to be back home with her family, friends, and puppy but states the past week will be one she will never forget. “I made 50 new friends, two very special friends from Rhode Island and Nevada, who I hope to visit soon and make more memories. I have received scholarships to aid me with college and was given opportunities for modeling. Honestly, I loved representing Mountain City and the wonderful people here and felt so much love and support from everyone as I read the encouraging messages that were sent to me throughout the week. There is truly no place like home.”
The MAOT is a sister program of the Miss America Organization that promotes academic achievement, creative accomplishment, healthy living and community involvement for girls between the ages of 13 and 17. At this ‘year’s MAOT event in
Orlando, over $175,000 in scholarship grants were handed out among the 52 contestants.