Ms. FMU seeks to promote self-confidence

Junior+Marcedes+Smith+plans+to+use+Ms.+FMU+to+encourage+college+and+high+school+students+to+have+confidence.
Junior Marcedes Smith plans to use Ms. FMU to encourage college and high school students to have confidence.

Junior Marcedes Smith plans to use Ms. FMU to encourage college and high school students to have confidence.

Photo by: Dani Isgett

Photo by: Dani Isgett

Junior Marcedes Smith plans to use Ms. FMU to encourage college and high school students to have confidence.

Rebecca Cross, Copy Editor

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With a platform to promote self-confidence, junior political science major Marcedes Smith was crowned Ms. FMU 2017.

“I want to build confidence not only at this university but in the community,” Smith said. “I really want to promote confidence within college students.”

As Ms. FMU, Smith said she plans to connect with local high schools in Florence County to create mentoring programs that FMU students will help oversee. She said mentoring programs help both the mentee and the mentor grow.

Smith said she also wants to start confidence-building workshops on FMU’s campus to help students build confidence in academics.

“I hear a lot about not succeeding or doing as well as students wanted to when it comes to taking tests and things like that,” Smith said. “A reason for that is lack of confidence in yourself, lack of confidence in the things that you know and your ability to do them.”

Smith was crowned Ms. FMU 2017 on April 6 in Chapman Auditorium.

Prior to the day of the pageant, contestants filled out an application and were interviewed by a panel of four FMU professors who served as judges. The interviews were factored into the contestants’ scores.

During the event, contests introduced themselves, explained their platforms and answered one random question from a judge. Also, contestants’ pictures scrolled during a slideshow presentation as Katy Perry’s “Firework” played in the background.

After Ms. FMU 2016 Stephanie Schemerhorn gave her farewell walk, the 2017 awards were distributed.

Whitney Green was named Ms. Congeniality. First runner-up was Deja McClain, and second runner-up was Tangie Peoples.

McClain and Peoples gave their platforms acronyms. McClain’s acronym was SLAY which stood for “service, leadership, achievement and youth.” Peoples’ acronym was PUSH which stood for “promote unity and silence hate.”

“Look at our world today, and you’ll see that one important thing is missing – the lack of unity,” Peoples said. “My fear is that this discord and strife will reach our college campus. We must magnify the beauty of our diversities.”

Peoples explained her platform through a spoken word that she wrote about the distress that can come from a lack of unity and silenced hate.

Smith, Green, McClain and Peoples were given bouquets and sashes, but the crown was reserved for Smith.

Coming into college, Smith said that she never thought she would run for Ms. FMU. However, she said that as her confidence in herself grew, it became something she wanted to do.

“It’s just confidence that I have gained in myself from being involved and getting to know more people and being more comfortable in myself,” Smith said. “The idea of being judged used to terrify me, wbut now, being more comfortable in myself and knowing my abilities and strengths and knowing that I’m a good person, it’s not so bad.”

Smith said that she enjoyed the experience of running for Ms. FMU, especially because it allowed her to get to know and work closely with the other contestants. Smith said that all of the contestants worked hard and that she wasn’t the only one deserving of the crown.

After the event, friends and family gathered around the eight contestants to congratulate them and take pictures together.

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