Sumter County Junior Miss earns top score in Self-Expression

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Special to the Times

Carolyne Elyse Findley of Cuba earned the highest score in the Self-Expression competition during the Alabama’s Junior Miss Scholarship Program held in Montgomery this weekend.

She won a $1,600 scholarship to the college of her choice for the achievement. She is Sumter County’s Junior Miss 2005.

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During the Self-Expression portion of the competition the young women were judged on poise and appearance, grooming, and the ability to express themselves on stage. Contestants gave a statement on a topic they feel strongly about. Elyse spoke on the need for political involvement among today’s youth.

She said in part, “We must instill a love of America and the government that makes our country so great in our children and teenagers. Because if no one is interested in public service today, who will lead our country tomorrow?”

Beginning Dec. 3, Elyse spent 10 days in Montgomery with young women from more than 58 counties in Alabama. In addition to rehearsals, the group attended several community functions and made several public appearances.

Elyse is a senior at Sumter Academy where she is president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is a member of the Beta Club, the National Honor Society, the Scholar’s Bowl Team, the Envirothon Team, the Envirobowl Team, and the Varsity Softball Team. She was chosen to attend the Alabama Governor’s School in Birmingham this summer, and has earned special academic recognition from the Alabama School for Math and Science. She is a three-year member of Who’s Who in America’s High Schools. Last spring she was part of a spring break missionary team trip to Honduras.

Elyse has been nominated for the Beeson Scholarship at Samford University, and was recently awarded a Mark Twain Scholarship to attend the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She served as Miss Christmas on the River 2003, and Miss Teen Tombigbee 2004. She was a member of the Sumter Academy Dance Team for four years, and is a former member of the Canticle Singers.

In addition, Elyse has been invited to participate in the Congressional Leadership Symposium as part of the Presidential Inauguration Classroom in Washington, D.C., and recently won the Alabama Independent School Association (AISA) District 1 Oratorical Contest. She earned third place in the AISA State Oratorical Contest.

Elyse is the daughter of Shelly Stapp Findley of Cuba and Brian and Christina Findley of Nashville, Tenn. She is the granddaughter of Bonnie and LD Stapp of Siloam, and John and Lois Findley of West Lafayette, Ind. She is the great-granddaughter of Virginia Harris of Meridian, Miss.