Yes, you can find a talent

Published 6:53 pm Tuesday, August 4, 2009

With Marengo County Junior Miss gearing up for its annual program, I can’t help but reminisce. As a “Has-Been” – as former Junior Misses are both affectionately and laughably known – my day in the program has passed, but it makes me so happy to know of the wonderful experiences that await several girls from our county.

Nothing stands out in my memory from my senior year of high school quite as much as my Junior Miss experience.

I remember sitting in class at Demopolis High School before the county program, and listening to the boys joke about how unfair it was that the girls had such a scholarship opportunity but boys didn’t.

First of all, the thought of young men being judged on poise is comical to me. That’s just a natural advantage I believe women have over men.

Second, I have always considered Junior Miss a type of affirmative action program for young women. After all, we didn’t get to vote until 1920 and still sometimes face glass ceilings, so why shouldn’t we specifically be rewarded for our hard work in high school?

I also remember all of the participants, myself included, scrambling to pull together 90-second talent performances. From soliloquies to solos, Middle Eastern dancing to modern dancing, we displayed a wide array of skills.

Many young women claim that they do not possess a suitable talent, so therefore they can’t be in Junior Miss. However, I would argue that finding a talent is a minor hurdle. Everyone is gifted in some way, whether athletically, artistically, intellectually or musically. Creativity in presenting a unique talent is half the battle.

Third, I recall all the friendships I made with girls from around Alabama at the state level. To this day, friends and family never cease to be amazed that I know at least one girl from every county in the state. Junior Miss allowed me to form lifelong friendships with amazingly talented and admirable young women.

I encourage all the senior girls in Marengo County to consider participating in the program to be held on September 26.

Parents, please encourage your daughters to consider this opportunity.

I can honestly say that scholarships from the Junior Miss program enabled me to attend the college of my dreams, and I am forever grateful to both the Marengo County and Alabama Junior Miss programs for this.

This program exists to help young women reach their full potential, so I urge the senior girls of our county to not let this invaluable opportunity slip by.