At their First Friday Dinner July 7 members of the OSU Emeriti Association learned what it takes to become Oklahoma’s representative in the Junior Miss program. Rana McCoy, mother of this year’s Oklahoma Junior Miss, told the Emeriti how her daughter, Kayley, worked to become “her best self” and win the title of Oklahoma’s Junior Miss.

Combining photographs and narrative, McCoy told the story of how Kayley’s participation in the Payne County Junior Miss program led to the statewide competition in Bartlesville and then to the recent national competition in Mobile, Ala.

She noted that the girls in the Junior Miss program are judged on scholastic achievement, physical fitness, talent, poise and an interview. The winner receives a medal rather than a crown, and prizes are in the form of scholarships.

Kayley sang “I Want To Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” as her entry in the talent portion of the competition. Her mother commented that Kayley taught herself to yodel in order to sing the song and her yodeling ability brought her a lot of attention in Mobile.

Lindsay Adams assisted with the photographs and slide show used during Mrs. McCoy’s presentation.

Richard Hawkins, director of Payne County’s Junior Miss program, also spoke to the Emeriti. He said the program in Payne County began seven years ago and has included two, including Kayley, who went on to become Oklahoma’s Junior Miss. The goal of the program, he said, is to encourage each contestant “to be your best self.”

The next OSU Emeriti Association dinner Aug. 4 will feature Chuck Hopkins with an update on benefits and the legislative session. Ed Arquitt will report on developments related to the Stillwater Academy of Lifelong Learners and Alyson Frieson will provide music.

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