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Miss Hattiesburg Ivey Swan uses the arts to calm the fears of Sumrall Day Care students at Sumrall Methodist Church following the recent tornado.


For Lamar County Resident Ivey Swan, encouraging children to express their feelings in creative ways, such as art, painting, dance and music is nothing new.  Recently the Ole Miss senior was pressed into using her arts advocacy in a different way.  Visiting the Sumrall Day Care Center that was displaced by the recent tornado, Swan was able to use the healing and therapeutic qualities of the arts to help Lamar County’s youngest storm victims overcome their fears.

On task at the center’s temporary home at Sumrall Methodist Church, Swan explained, “Children who have experienced disasters, even just through graphic media coverage, may not be able to talk about it or express the feelings disaster triggers in them.  The arts can help ease the pain of trauma.”

Using coloring books that feature her original signature paintbrush character “Artie,” Swan was able to not only foster the talents of these budding artists but also able to ease their minds about a disaster and fears that they could not possibly understand.  Artie has become a symbol for arts passion and has recently partnered with Festival South and The Hattiesburg Arts Council to herald their children’s arts programs.

“Communicating and coping is the key,” acknowledges the newly -crowned Miss Hattiesburg.   “The Pine Belt Spirit is at work – and despite unimaginable losses, progress is being made.  Community by community. Block by block. Neighbor by neighbor.”

Ivey is the daughter of Randy and Millie Swan of Hattiesburg and is the 2015 Scholarship winner of The Leaf Foundation.  She will represent Hattiesburg in The Miss Mississippi Pageant this June in Vicksburg.  More on Swan’s mission, The ART$ - A Road to Success, can be found online at artieforthearts.com. 

Miss LRV's OT Zhariah Hubbard Meets Miss America!!



Miss Leaf River Valley’s Outstanding Teen Zhariah Hubbard met the reigning Miss America Kira Kanzantsev by chance in the Las Vegas airport. The local titleholder was on her way to the prestigious James Logan Debate Tournament in California with the Hattiesburg High School Debate Team when Miss America spotted her. The Hattiesburg High School Junior was holding her Outstanding Teen crown in her hand. She carried it with her because she plans on making an official pageant platform presentation while she is in California. Thanks to HHS Debate Coach Scott Waldrop for making the chance photos happen and for arranging the additional speaking opportunity for Zhariah in The Golden State.


As she was able to explain to Miss America, Zhariah’s platform is All About U: A Mission of Acceptance (U Matter, U Contribute, U Fit In). She will represent The Pine Belt at Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Pageant this June in Vicksburg. Kira Kanzantsev, New York’s third consecutive Miss America, wished the local representative well and told her to be sure and say hello to Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray, who also competed as a Leaf Foundation titleholder.





2013-14 Scholarship |Winner showcase
Click on your favorite contestant to learn more about her.


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