Tusculum College’s Candace Babb is this year’s winner of the Miss Greene County scholarship pageant and will represent the community in the Miss Tennessee Pageant this June when the pageant is held in Jackson, Tenn.
Babb is a senior this year at the College, majoring in elementary education. She is from Greeneville and is the daughter of Curtis and Teresa Babb.
This will be her third year to compete in the Miss Tennessee pageant, having previously won qualifying competitions as Miss Knoxville and Miss Bristol. The Miss Tennessee pageant is a preliminary competition for the Miss America pageant.
According to Babb, the Miss America organization is the largest provider of scholarships for women, and she has received $5,800 in scholarship assistance to date from her participation. She has used all of her scholarship assistance toward her education at Tusculum College.
“Participating in the pageants has helped me so much,” said Babb, who got involved because she was interested in the scholarships and saw it as a way to utilize her talent. A singer and pianist, her talent in the Miss Greene County pageant was a vocal performance of “I Told You So,” by Carrie Underwood and Randy Travis.
Winning Miss Greene County is also special to her, allowing her to represent the community in which she grew up, where she resides and where she works and goes to school.
“The biggest difference is the community support,” said Babb of representing Greene County. “There is a huge difference when the community actually knows the candidate representing them, there is more of a personal connection.” She added that the outpouring of support and encouragement has been incredible already.
And, Babb will be using that as her “secret weapon” for her return to the Miss Tennessee pageant. “You learn something new every time you go. It’s a very reflective process. This year I am just focusing on being the best representative for Greene County that I can be. The judges are essentially looking for the best representative for Tennessee, and the best way to show them that I’m the one for the job is to do the best job I can representing Greene County.”
Babb also has found an outlet for supporting programs she believes through the pageant system. Her chosen platform is MUSIQ - advocating the benefits of music on the mind, hands and heard.
“Music has always been really important to me,” she said. Babb has played the piano and performed vocally for most of her life. As a winner of the various pageants, Babb has spent numerous hours in local and regional schools working with students through music and encouraging support of music education in public schools.
Last year she supported the Music Education National Conference in their efforts to include music education standards in the “No Child Left Behind” federal legislation by collecting more than 500 signatures on a petition that was presented to the Secretary of Education in Washington, D.C.
In addition to her participation in the pageants, Babb is a member of the Tusculum College Student Alumni Association and participates in the Mentors for Kids Program. She is the pianist and director of music ministries for Greenwood United Methodist Church. She is also an advocate for Children’s Miracle Network and to date has raised $1,350 for the cause.