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UM Student Organizes Social Event for ‘Dress for Success’

Graphic courtesy of Lexie Harper.

Lexie Harper, a junior at the University of Mississippi, wanted to compete in the Miss Mississippi pageant, so when she competed in a preliminary competition for Miss Mississippi in October, her only expectation was to experience the competition.

Harper exceeded her expectations when she won the preliminary contest and was named Miss Northeast Mississippi.

“I felt like God’s plan for my life all along was for me to compete in Miss Mississippi this year,” Harper said. “Whether I win Miss Mississippi or not, I’ve grown so much as a person, that it’s been an awesome experience regardless.”

The Miss Mississippi competition will be held June 19-22 in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and the winner will go on to compete in the Miss America competition.

As Harper continues to prepare for the Miss Mississippi competition, she has also developed and coordinated a social impact event. She organized a 5K run for May 4 in Oxford to raise money for Dress for Success—a non-profit that provides women in poverty with professional attire, job interview preparation skills and resume assistance.

“To stay in shape, I like to run, so I felt like a 5K was the perfect way to promote health while also raising money for a cause that is super close to my heart,” Harper said.

Harper explained that her grandfather, Terry Harper, who is currently on the Lauderdale County school board in Meridian, Mississippi, grew up in poverty. With the help of her grandmother’s family, he was able to get the support he needed to eventually finish high school and go on to play football at Auburn University.

“I chose Dress for Success because I would like to have an impact on someone’s life like my grandmother had on my grandfather,” Harper said.

Harper said she has always been interested in competing in Miss Mississippi since she was a little girl but decided to wait a couple of years before pursuing it.

“I believe that I needed time to figure out who I was, experience college and just grow as a person,” Harper said. “My junior year is when I felt like God was calling me to be a part of the Miss Mississippi organization, so I decided to do [the prelim] last fall.”

The 5K run/walk, dubbed by Harper as the Power Run, begins at 8 a.m. May 4 on Ole Miss’s campus with registration opening at 7 a.m. The cost is $20 per adult and $10 for children, and $5 for those who bring a pet.

For more information email Harper at clharpe1@go.olemiss.edu.

Courtesy of the School of Business Administration

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