The title of Miss Mississippi will be up for grabs starting Wednesday night in Vicksburg, and each young woman at the pageant has a story to tell.
Miss University of Southern Mississippi, Grace Claire Cordes, says she learned as a child the importance of music education.
"I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and I was forced to stop all physical activities like soccer, and piano, and things such as that," says Cordes.
"My music educator really reached out to me and she's who pushed me toward singing."
Miss Mississippi College, Taylor Townsend has been named by Governor Phil Bryant as a spokesperson for human trafficking, and she says it is a problem even in this state.
"The I-10 corridor is one of the hot spots for human trafficking to take place," explains Townsend, "and along our Gulf Coast it's the perfect environment for something like that to happen."
All of the contestants say life lessons have helped them build confidence, self esteem, and character. All qualities the new Miss Mississippi will have in volumes.