|Photo Matt Boyd|
So, let's see what happens when Kelsey Hollis visits Section 36!
How did you celebrate winning the Miss Capital City crown?
As cliche as it may sound, I gave a huge thank you to God (right before I ate my celebratory Waffle House All-Star breakfast). When I competed for Miss Capital City I was coming off a rather tough loss at Miss Tennessee where I placed 3rd runner-up. I was proud of myself, but inevitably still defeated. Coming back home to Georgia gave me a little bit of nerves, so I prayed a lot leading up to the pageant that God would just send me a sign that I'm on the right track and still walking in my purpose. Winning Miss Capital City itself meant so much, but I also won all of the overall awards which gave me the confidence I needed at that time to keep going.
You were previously Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen. Do you think that past experience helps as you compete for Miss Georgia?
For sure! During my reign, I did tons of speaking and singing engagements; sometimes in high stress situations. I believe to some extent a lot of being able to handle that from a mental standpoint eventually becomes second nature. Being Miss Georgia's OTeen helped me to feel comfortable as being MYSELF as I transitioned to being a Miss candidate. I always tell people the experience was so surreal for me because I was able to fit the title to my life, rather than fitting my life to the title. Everything about my reign was genuine.
What is something that Karson Pennington is doing as Miss Georgia that you would want to emulate?
Karson is truly doing so many amazing things for our state, it's hard to choose! I personally believe one of the most special things that Karson has focused on is showing how important it is to bring awareness and resources to communities in Georgia that don't all receive the same opportunities in literacy. Aiding equity within our state is something I don't believe too many people before Karson gave attention to. I'd love to keep that same priority in terms of literacy, but also in terms of those who are diagnosed with a disability within our state as well.
How did you select your social impact initiative?
My older brother, Jeremy, was diagnosed with Autism at a very young age. My mom also is a special education teacher. I believe these two components of my life gave me the perception that everyone in the world was use to, and comfortable with the idea of being around someone with a disability. It wasn't until I got older, and started noticing the differences in my life and my brother's life that I truly realized the dire need for awareness, acceptance, and advocacy on behalf of the (what I like to call) DIFFERENTLY-abled community.
As a talented singer, what do you enjoy about performing on stage?
I tell people all the time that for me, it's such an out of body experience. As a child I was extremely shy in terms of large crowds. The first time I ever preformed by myself it was on my 4th birthday in church. I made my mom stand on stage with me, and I sang with my back to the crowd. I truly can say that years later, I now know that singing and preforming is part of my God-given purpose. I love knowing that I have the ability to touch the lives of people simply by doing what I love for Christ. Every time I go on stage I challenge myself to find at least one person in the crowd and talk to them through song. As I'm preforming I make eye contact with whoever God leads that person to be in my heart. I always try to pick songs that I can connect and resonate with, so that hopefully that same conviction and inspiration is able to transpire into the lives of those watching and listening; even if it's just one person.
Photo Rob Metzger
You are thinking of a career in sports journalism/sports psychology. What interests you about those fields?
I've always loved sports! The Miami Heat, Big 3 era was really what gave me the desire to formulate a career somewhere in the sports industry. I think in order to help athletes from a mental standpoint, you have to be able to understand their world and the validity of the things that they go through. The communicative aspect of journalism I believe, will give me the proper stepping stones to be successful in furthering my sports psychology aspirations. I would love to ultimately open a practice of traveling sports psychologists that use skill-based techniques such as music therapy and psychodynamic therapy, to aid athletes in their daily struggles.
What is your personal fitness routine?
Firstly, a huge part of staying in shape for me has been my diet. I'm very careful about my proportions and pretty much only drink water except for the occasional sweet tea or fruit punch on my good days, lol. As far as exercise, try to go to the gym at least once every other day and I LOVE lifting. When you work legs, arms, back, and core often; your body naturally starts to slim down and tone up. Truly, I hate cardio in terms of running; so I use the rowing machine a lot and do things that warrant a lot of movement like jump squats and burpees.
You had the opportunity to sing the National Anthem game at Fenway Park before a Red Sox Yankees game. What was that experience like?
INCREDIBLE! We lucked up and got to sing for the Red Sox vs Yankees rivalry game, so it was packed! That definitely is the largest crowd I've ever preformed in front of. The atmosphere in Fenway Park is crazyyyy, but in such a beautiful and exciting way. The crowd also was super responsive and supportive after our performance which made it even better!
Is there a feature or activity at a baseball game that you’d especially like to experience?
I'd love to throw the first pitch!! I've never had the chance to do so, but I played softball for a little while when I was younger, and I was the quarterback in high school for our powderpuff team... needless to say, I've got a pretty good arm! I really would love to see how well I can throw it under pressure!
As usual, I want to thank Kelsey for visiting with us, and for sending along the pictures to go with the interview.
I also want to wish her luck when she competes for Miss Georgia! It would be fantastic to have another Section 36 Forever wear that crown.
I'm sure you'd like to follow along with Cassandra during her journey as Miss Capital City. You should be sure to check out her title's Instagram account. It's a great way to keep track of everything she has going on.
Thanks again Kelsey, and good luck!