BY JACLYN ROSE –
Mckinzy McGee was raised in Polk County and will graduate from Mena High School this current school year, with plans to attend Arkansas Tech University and major in Agricultural Business and Public Relations. One day she hopes to work for Tyson Chicken or Farm Bureau.
McGee is a hardworking, driven and intelligent young lady with a passion for the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and helping people. She is also a pageant contendor and currently holds the titles of Miss Melanoma Prevention and Awareness Program (MAPP) and Miss Polk County. “I had a lot of fun in Miss Polk County, especially because I knew all the girls I was competing with and that made it so much better. I am extremely involved in my community and I love that as Miss Polk County and Miss MAPP that I am able to be around people I wouldn’t normally be around. I’ve met a lot of great people and I’ve been put in very cool situations and been able to do so much already. I’m very excited about being in the upcoming Veteran’s Parade. I’ll also be serving at the Veteran’s lunch and helping to draw for the raffle. This is very special to me, especially because my mom, Sharon McGee, is a veteran,” explained McGee.
McGee hopes to use her platforms as Miss MAPP and Miss Polk County to help the people in her hometown and is excited for the opportunity to be more involved. “My mother has always been very involved in helping people. She does the Angel Tree every year in town and I’ve helped her since I was six or seven years old. I’ve been around it so much, it has taught me to do stuff like that, to help people, and I want to be a part of it as much as I can,” McGee said.
McGee spends much of her free time working with FFA. She currently serves the Mena High School Chapter as President, she also works with Public Speaking and is the President of the Parliamentary Program. McGee has been showing livestock, namely sheep and goats, for six years and recently competed in her last State Fair. “FFA and livestock showing have taught me so much. Showing definitely teaches a lot of responsibility, because you are responsible for more lives than your own. You have to get up early and feed them and exercise them every night. It also teaches you about commitment. I feel like Public Speaking has helped me a lot, especially with speaking on stage at pageants,” explained McGee. Additionally, McGee explained that her High School Ag Teacher, Mike Collins, has been one of the most positive influences in her life. “I would say that Mr. Collins has really been the influence person in my life. He has helped me a lot with public speaking, but he is also really good at giving advice. He finds inspirational quotes online and hangs them on the board and I’ve spent a lot of time with him over the past four years with FFA. He’s a great teacher,” explained McGee. Through FFA, McGee was also given the opportunity to attend a leadership conference in Washington D.C. last summer. “I met a lot of people and was able to tour all the monuments. It was really neat, but also a very different place. They don’t have sweet tea there, just iced tea that you can put sugar in, and then the sugar doesn’t melt,” said McGee with a laugh and a sigh.
While currently attending Mena High School, McGee has taken concurrent classes at Rich Mountain Community College. “Getting the basics out of the way will help me a lot as I begin college. I will be able to jump straight in to what I want to do,” McGee explained.
McGee is also joining the Pulse team as an intern, made possible through the Arkansas Broadcaster’s Association. “We are looking forward to welcoming Mckinzy to our team. She is an incredibly talented and articulate young lady,” said General Manager LeAnn Dilbeck. McGee will be learning various aspects of radio production, board operations, assisting with covering news events, as well as being exposed to the advertising sales portion of the business.
“I have always enjoyed living in Polk County, I like that everyone knows everyone. I can’t go anywhere without someone saying, ‘oh you’re Sharon’s daughter, or Jerry McGee’s granddaughter!’ I think the community really helps raise the child and I love that there isn’t a lot of drama around here. It’s quiet and quaint and a great place to grow up. I really feel that way about Mena High School, it’s a big school for a small town, but we are all really close, especially my class. It’s a great school,” McGee said.