Cheatham County native, Hailey Hackett, will compete in the pageant this week (Photo: Noreen Nooner)
Cheatham County will be well-represented in the upcoming Miss Tennessee USA pageant in Clarksville, Tenn., on March 9-11. Hailey Hackett, a sophomore nursing student at Belmont University, will take the stage at Mabry Concert Hall at Austin Peay State University for the competition, along with about 70 other young women from around the state. Born and raised in Cheatham County, Hackett said “it is an absolute honor to be able to represent the amazing county that will forever be my hometown.”
An avid lover of fitness and playing and trying new sports, she tried out a pageant competition while she was growing up, and really enjoyed the experience.
“I saw the opportunity to compete in a pageant as a way to step out of my comfort zone and do something I have never done before. After lots of research and preparation I decided to give it a go and am so glad that I did,” Hackett said.
If she wins the competition on March 11 and goes on to represent the state in the Miss USA competition, Hackett said she would like to use her experience to bring attention to the issue of fitness and women’s heart health.
“Outside of school, I enjoy being physically active and want to use my pageant platform to promote heart health and the importance of physical activity. The American Heart Association has a special place in my heart as my mom has battled heart disease as well as other members in my family,” she said.
Support from her mother and father and the community has helped Hackett on her pageant journey.
“I have received an incredible amount of support from the community. From kind words to sponsorships, I am so grateful for their support. As a competitor in the pageant, we are responsible for personally receiving sponsorships and I hope to gain even more support in my journey to Miss Tennessee,” she said.
Local photographer Noreen Nooner has also helped support Hackett with amazing images.
Support from her mother and father and the community has helped Hackett on her pageant journey (Photo: Noreen Nooner)
“I became acquainted with Noreen when I was in middle school and always knew I wanted her to capture my senior pictures. I was drawn to how personable she is and how incredibly talented she is behind the camera. She connects with her clients and does an amazing job of capturing their personalities. She has captured several milestones since then and even some just for fun,” Hackett said.
For young women who might be thinking of going into pageants, she has a few words of advice.
“I have learned that it is crucial to be yourself and explore your passions and hobbies. Preparing for the pageant has allowed me to explore and find organizations that are meaningful to me as well as explore what my values are. I have also learned to be confident in myself and what I believe in. Confidence is often hard when it is easy to compare yourself to others in the pageant industry and in the world in general but being confident in who you are is something that will set you apart,” she said.
You can watch the Miss Tennessee USA and Miss Teen Tennessee USA pageants in person at Austin Peay State University by purchasing tickets at www.misstennesseeusa.com. You can also watch the pageant online on the website.