North Lenoir alum is headed to Miss North Carolina competition

North Lenoir alum is headed to Miss North Carolina competition

Jessica Lanier stands next to her mother, Angela, after winning the Miss Piedmont Scholarship Pageant in Kannapolis on Jan. 12. Submitted photo

Lenoir County will be represented in the upcoming Miss North Carolina pageant.

Jessica Lanier won the Miss Piedmont Scholarship Pageant on Jan. 12 in Kannapolis, a precursor to the Miss North Carolina pageant. Lanier, a 2017 North Lenoir graduate and current UNC Charlotte student, had the highest talent score of all of the contestants, singing Carrie Underwood’s “I Know You Won’t” on the way to victory.

“It felt really great to win,” Lanier said. “I had been practicing for a while trying to get everything together and went back to the drawing board. This was something I’ve really wanted to do and the opportunity is surreal.”

Angela Lanier, Jessica’s mother, said her daughter is on course to follow a childhood dream.

 “I am ecstatic about her winning Miss Piedmont,” Lanier said. “Ever since she was a little girl, she said ‘I’m going to be Miss America.’ Lo and behold, she’s making it come true.”

Jessica Lanier said there was plenty of preparation needed in order to be successful at Miss Piedmont and future pageants.

“There are many benefits to pageants and I believe every girl is capable of doing it,” Lanier said. “You learn how to improve interview skills, which is something needed throughout life. I’m always paying attention to the news and staying on top of current events. I’ve also been working on a platform, trying to teach middle school and high school kids about preparing for college — it’s more than just working on your GPA.”

Lanier has plans to further her education, as well as continue her dream.

“I plan to graduate UNCC with a degree in public advocacy, then go to Howard Law School and eventually become a lobbyist in Washington D.C.,” Lanier said.

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