Ms. Alabama speaks to students

Miss Alabama Jessica Procter speaks to students of Moulton Middle School on Tuesday after speaking at a Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Procter spoke to both crowds about her platform issue called Step Up to the Plate: Decreasing Food Insecurity. She also encouraged students to embrace diversity.

Miss Alabama Jessica Procter spoke Monday at the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce luncheon and at Moulton Middle School.

Procter explained to both audiences her duties as Miss Alabama and her platform issue.

During her nine months as Miss Alabama, Procter, 22, has crusaded for her platform issue called Step Up to the Plate: Decreasing Food Insecurity.

Procter said she became compelled to help fight hunger in the state when she learned just how many people experience hunger every day in Alabama.

“One in five Alabamians experience hunger, which translates to roughly 19 percent of the state population, or roughly 900,000 people,” she said.

She was solidified when volunteering in a community just outside of Tuscaloosa, Procter’s hometown, where hunger is all too common.

“It was like Christmas morning for those people,” she said, referring to when they were brought gifts and supplies.

But what really struck a chord with her was that the children wanted to give something in return.

“They wanted to give even though they had nothing to give,” Procter said.

She spoke to students not only about hunger, but  also embracing individuality. She feels that through accepting and celebrating others’ differences, bullying can be thwarted.

“People are going to be different than you, and our uniqueness can work in our favor,” Procter said.

Towards the end of the speech, she sang “Happy Birthday” to three students.

“Bullying is something we have to deal with on a consistent basis,” said Stanley Johnson, vice principal of Moulton Middle School. “It is a timely subject and it’s an honor to have someone of her (Procter) status to speak to us. We’re thankful for her and the chamber for setting this up. Students today need all the resources they can receive to deal with the pressures of the day.”

Procter said she is taking a year off from school to fulfill her duties as Miss Alabama. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in Music and Communications and a Minor in Psychology at The University of Alabama.

“The Miss Alabama organization puts a lot of emphasis on service to your community, and Jessica this year has particularly made that a focus through her personal platform,” said Chamber Director Jason Houston. “I felt getting her in front of my Chamber membership meeting would reinforce with our investors and partners how important the work they do really is. She did a great job with her presentation, and we appreciated the opportunity to host her. She made our meeting a big success. And I know the students at Moulton Middle School were excited to meet and see her as well.”

Procter said she enjoyed her visit to Lawrence County. Until Tuesday, she had only passed through the area.

“I absolutely loved it,” she said. “I just loved the energy and enthusiasm of everyone.”

To schedule a Miss Alabama appearance, contact Eve Gray at (205)-910-1117 or missalappearances@gmail.com

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