Sampson Independent

Blueberry queen’s eyes on big stage

Clinton High School graduate Catherine Smith has had many dreams come true over the last few months — from signing with Methodist University to play women’s tennis to capturing the title of Miss North Carolina Blueberry Festival.

Somewhat of a triple threat, Smith is athletic, intellectual and radiates with great beauty. Possessing those qualities are exactly what she needs to help her make her dream of becoming Miss North Carolina come true.

“I hope that one day I’ll make it to the big stage,” Smith said about her hopes and dreams of one day holding the state title.

Smith began competing in pageants in seventh grade. In addition to her most recent win, she has held the title of Miss Sampson County Relay for Life and Teen Miss North Carolina Pickle Festival.

“While I was in high school, I competed for one of my dream titles, but I was never able to bring home the win,” Smith said about competing for the title of Miss Clinton High School.

While serving as Miss North Carolina Blueberry Festival, Smith will travel throughout the state to participate in community service events, all while promoting blueberries and their healthy benefits.

Contestants and title holders for the Blueberry Festival title are not required to have platforms, but Smith works hard to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.

“Cancer is something that has touched my family deeply,” Smith shared. “I work hard to raise money for cancer patients and research because it’s something that I feel passionate about.”

During her time at Methodist, Smith will not only play for the women’s tennis team, but work to obtain a degree in music and tennis management.

“My goal is to become a kindergarten teacher and let kids experience the musical side of learning,” she explained.

That inspiration came from her very own kindergarten teacher — Sandra Cannady — who Smith says taught the class a new song everyday and incorporated music into learning any lesson.

“That way, if the state decides to take away the resource classes like music and art, my students will still have the opportunity to still learn music in the regular classroom,” she added.

In addition to being involved in pageants and playing tennis, Smith has been active in the Sampson Community Theatre, performing in 26 shows over the last eight years.

“What can I say, I truly love being on stage,” she said with a gentle laugh.

While at Clinton High School, Smith was involved in the school’s drama team, the Be NICE club, career and technical education courses and honors society, as well as the Varsity Club for student athletes.

She has also taken dance classes from Wanda Coleman and voice and musical troupe lessons from Angela Martin.

Although still a teenager herself, Smith said she has advice for those teens coming up in the world today.

“Don’t ever give up on your dreams,” she shared. “You never know where you’ll end up. And don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve something because you can achieve anything you set your mind to.”

Goal oriented herself, Smith had one final piece of advice for today’s teens.

“Have goals and continue to work to make those goals reality.”

Smith is the daughter of Curtis and Ingrid Smith and the sister of Curt Smith, who she admits is her strongest supporter.

Catherine Smith recently won the title of Miss North Carolina Blueberry Festival. Smith recently won the title of Miss North Carolina Blueberry Festival.

By Kristy D. Carter

Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.