Miss Spivey’s Corner Karen Stallings and her sister queen Miss Spivey’s Corner Outstanding Teen Mackie Brown will both be competing for the coveted titles of Miss North Carolina and Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen, respectively, this Saturday.
Stallings can’t help but look back on her journey and express just how grateful she is for this opportunity.
“It’s amazing. I’m not trying to sound cocky but I have an amazing life. I am so blessed and I really feel like I’m exactly where I need to be,” she said.
Brown also shared how being an Outstanding Teen has always been something for which she’s strived.
“It has definitely been one of my secret dreams since I was a little girl,” shared Brown.
Not only do both of them share the honor of representing the same city, but they both have family ties to pageants.
Brown’s older sister has competed in pageants, which was one of the factors that inspired Brown to participate. Stallings’ great-grandmother was the first Miss Goldsboro in 1932. That was also the first preliminary Stallings competed in this past November. While she didn’t win the title, she feels she won life lessons.
“I was not ready to be a titleholder when I competed for Miss Goldsboro. I wasn’t ready to be a role model. I wasn’t confident in myself either. I had no idea who Karen was,” Stallings said.
Stallings expressed how she took a step back, leaned on her faith and came back with confidence and new found purpose in the world of pageants.
“After the Miss Goldsboro pageant, I was struggling with my confidence and self-esteem and I thought if I’m dealing this, there has to be tons of others that feel the same way.”
This thought prompted her new platform, Project Rise. Project Rise is dedicated to helping people find their confidence and building up their self-esteem.
“Being yourself is OK. It’s so important to remember that you have a purpose and gift no one else has,” said Stallings when speaking of the importance of her platform.
Brown also shared how her platform, Turn Up The STEAM is dedicated to the importance of keeping STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) and Arts programs alive and running. Brown, who has dreams of one day becoming an orthodontist, wrote in her Miss North Carolina Outstanding Teen essay that she hopes to “encourage girls to enter STEAM career paths.” Brown also vows to be a big advocate for “funding to incorporate and maintain the Arts in the STEM education.”
Apart from the emotional aspects of the job, the physical one can be the hardest to endure.
Brown works out every day for 30 minutes and then practices her talent — playing piano — for an hour each day. Stallings joked about how she was blessed with a good metabolism that has helped her maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to be competition ready.
Both girls want the public to know that underneath it all, they are just two normal girls who have the honor of representing Spivey’s Corner.
“I can be funny, I’m intelligent and I’m very proud of being academically gifted. I’m not just a typical pageant girl,” said Brown.
“I’m very proud to serve Sampson County. I love the support and community behind me. They have this belief in me that you sometimes struggle to find in yourself,” added Stallings.