Miss N.C. is Sampson’s crown jewel

She may not have won the title of Miss America Sunday night, but Kate Peacock will always be our crown jewel here in Sampson County.

Peacock grew up in Spivey’s Corner and is a graduate of Midway High School and the daughter of Gary and Penny Peacock.

The rising junior at Meredith College, where she studies psychology and elementary education, earned our admiration and respect long before she ever graced a pageant runway. In fact, Peacock became one of our favorites as a Midway district student when one of The Independent’s long-time staff writers wrote an article about her tenacity in fighting an eye disease that she never allowed to define her.

It was that eye disease that became Peacock’s platform as she worked to raise awareness of pediatric eye disease and the Duke Pediatric Eye Center. As a patient herself, suffering from a pediatric eye disease, Peacock established Peeper Keepers with the hopes of helping children with their self esteem when dealing with eye diseases and disorders.

Her heartfelt discussions about her own fight with the disease and her desire to help other children suffering from similar problems as those she experienced has been her platform as Miss Dunn and now as Miss North Carolina.

When she talks about her desire to help young children, it’s easy to see she means every word, understands their plight and wants to do everything in her power to make it better.

It’s just the kind of young woman Kate Peacock really is.

As a Midway Raider, Peacock was always a good student, beautiful on the outside, but more importantly even more beautiful on the inside, someone who never took herself too seriously. Her kind, charming personality was a draw early on, something that didn’t wane as she grew up. People just gravitated to her, something easy to see by the enormous outpouring of support the young lady has had since she took to the pageant circuit. Social media has been on fire in support of her since she began her journey to Miss N.C., and spread even more when the state crown enabled her to embark on yet another adventure — this one to Atlantic City and the opportunity to compete in the Miss America contest.

We hope she considers the two-week competition a learning experience and an adventure, understanding that while she didn’t capture the crown, she has captured the hearts of thousands of people, particularly in her home county and across North Carolina.

She will always be a winner in our eyes, a young woman who has represented Sampson County and North Carolina well, not just since earning the state title, but throughout her young life.

And to quote so many of those well-wishers who pulled for her throughout the Miss American competition, we are proud as a peacock of Kate Peacock.

Kudos to her for the fine young woman she is and the way she has admirably represented us.