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Miss Tennessee 2013 Shares Her Journey to the Crown

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - After years of competing, Miss Capital City Shelby Thompson of Brentwood was crowned Miss Tennessee 2013 at the Carl Perkins Civic Center, Saturday.

Miss Thompson, the daughter of Miss Chattanooga 1977 Eunice Belew Thompson, told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that the crowning moment was more than anything she had ever dreamed.

"I know it sounds funny, but when we were little girls we envisioned what would happen if we were called out as Miss Tennessee," said Shelby Thompson. "I always imagined myself touching a crown over my head, and instead I found my hands on my heart. And that's what it was, just a very heartfelt moment."

Over the last four years, Thompson has mentored children in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization, which is also her platform. Family members said Thompson has always had a heart for service, and has even been known to keep an arts and crafts kit in the trunk of her car for fun and games inside children hospitals she visits across Tennessee.

Thompson said she's focused on bringing more awareness to her platform for Big Brothers and Big Sisters, because the organization has a mission that makes a difference.

"It provides justice for children who are generally seen as just a statistic by society, where all of a sudden they have a name and just one person to care about them, tend to them even for just once a week," said Thompson. "I'm just hoping to continue to use the skills I've developed this year and tell the stories and experiences I've had."

Pageant officials said Thompson will receive a $13,000 scholarship. The 2012 University of Tennessee at Knoxville graduate in public relations said she plans to eventually achieve her MBA for non-profit organization management at Lipscomb University. This was Thompson's third year to compete at the Carl Perkins Civic Center. Her parents told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that this year Thompson was focused on getting the opportunity to make a difference.

"For me, because Miss America Organization values service so much, that's what motivated me to keep going," said Thompson. "Because when you have a crown on your head, you have credibility and an element of relevance in your community and you can do so much more for the causes you care about. Ultimately the big picture is the impact I plan to leave this year and have this year through my my platform."

Thompson will represent the state at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City this September.
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