Kw-halloween-logo-small

Interview - Miss Teen USA, Marissa Whitley

Marissa Whitley: Miss Teen USA 2001.
C/O Rubenstein Public Relations

Unfortunately, few peeps in this world have brains and beauty - but Marissa Whitley, Miss Teen USA 2001, is one of those peeps. Since Marissa's mom died when she was three, and her dad was killed when she was five, she's had a lot of tragedy and challenges to face in her young life. Not only did Marissa face 'em head on, she's managed to accomplish some pretty big goals while she's at it! Whether it's her athletic achievements (she was a varsity track and basketball star in high school) or her academic triumphs (she graduated high school with honors and got accepted at the University of Missouri) or winning the title of Miss Teen USA, Marissa Whitley is a role model for not letting your circumstances keep you down. As her Miss Teen USA reign comes to an end, Kidzworld got the chance to chat with this cool teen about her life, her success and what the future has in store.

KW: What was it like winning the pageant and hearing your name called?
Marissa: I was a bit surprised... more like shocked, I guess. I knew I could handle the responsibility that came with the title and it was definitely great knowing the judges saw a light in me over 50 other girls.

KW: What inspired you to compete for the Miss Teen USA crown?
Marissa: Well, you can't compete on that level unless you've already won and reigned at a state level. Getting involved in pageants wasn't even my idea, it was my sisters'. I had always done sports and things and my sister gave me an entry form. I thought of it as another great way to challenge myself and see what I was good at.

KW: What are some of your fave experiences from your year as Miss Teen USA?
Marissa: The opportunities I've had to meet great, inspirational people. Not so much the celebrities but the humanitarians... people who have changed lives and change people in more ways than one. It was great to meet Muhammad Ali and Tiger Woods who is such a role model for teens. I, myself, try to relate to a wide demographic and a variety of people.

KW:You've had a lot of struggles in your life, how did you become so successful and how can others with similar challenges be just as successful?
Marissa: I have learned to take life one day at a time. Make goals for yourself each day and focus on that day because tomorrow is not a guarantee. With the pageant I wanted to try something I had never done before. I definitely think you need to expand on your life - don't ever be content with it the way it is. Always put pressure on yourself, but don't let others pressure you. My favorite saying is "You'll miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take."

KW: What are your plans for the future?
Marissa: I want to go back to school at University of Missouri and I am going to start writing a book. I'm signing with a modeling agency and I hope to be increasingly busy in charity work. Charity work means a lot to me because I'm really about helping other people.

Marissa Facts:

Fave Foods: Pepperoni pizza, crab legs, french fries.
Fave TV Shows: Oprah,Everybody Loves Raymond,CSI.
Hobbies: Scrap booking, dancing, listening to music. Marissa also says, "I like playing basketball with my boyfriend. He plays for the University of Missouri and he's taller and stuff so I haven't beat him yet."
Gab Factor: As Miss Teen USA, Marissa Whitley got to talk with over 100,000 kids. She also did a ton of radio and TV interviews and worked closely with PAX (real Solutions to Gun Violence,) M.A.D.D. (Mother's Against Drunk Driving) and SHiNE.
On Working out: I like working out because it makes me feel good," says Marissa Whitley. "People should work out because they want to feel good not because they want to look like someone else."

Marissa Whitley ends her reign on Wednesday August 28, 2002 when Miss Teen USA 2002 is crowned. You can catch Marissa Whitley hand the crown off to the new Miss Teen USA, at 9 PM on CBS. *NSYNC's Chris Kirkpatrick and "bad girl" Willa Ford co-host the event while Bow Wow will shake things up with a performance. Don't forget to check it out!

Head to Miss Teen USA's Official site at www.missteenusa.com for more on the event and on Marissa Whitley.

Related Stories:

  • Talk-Time with Christian Kane
  • Q & A with Legend Grandmaster Flash
  • Introducing Pop Singers Jump5
  • Get Your Celeb Facts Here
  • >
    >

    readers voted!

    Comments

    there are 0 comments

    Please login or register to add comments


    like this article?
    Sign up now to get more just like!

    latest videos

    Pageant-poll

    Would You Enter a Pageant?

    • Sure. It'd be fun and challenging.
    • Maybe. I'd love to own a crown!
    • Absolutely not. They're weird and degrading.
    • I've already entered a bunch!

    related stories

    Entertainment in the forums

    -Gwen42--
    -Gwen42-- posted in TV Shows:
    It was a good show overall but the ending was weird.
    reply 27 minutes
    Unikitty13
    Unikitty13 posted in Celebs:
    SLAPPPP! he's worse as miley cyrus. and I'm positively sure that most people hates him, and so do i
    reply about 2 hours
    raeraelol
    raeraelol posted in Celebs:
    oh my goodness he is so adorable and an amazing actor i think he has got a bigger future ahead of him then just what he is doing now i mean he just has complete pure talent :) 
    reply about 7 hours
    raeraelol
    raeraelol posted in Celebs:
    oh my goodness im  Channing Tatum all the way 
    reply about 7 hours
    raeraelol
    raeraelol posted in Celebs:
    I would personally say Twilight because the hunger games is good but like it takes too long to get into "The Hunger Games" part where they hurt each other and stuff so yeah :) This forum was awesome btw :) 
    reply about 7 hours

    play online games

    Candy-100

    A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

    Big_icon_(7)

    Have you ever fancied being a ranger like those fantasy characters you love so m...

    Big_icon_(4)

    You run across the city in a car chase with the police officers.

    Big_icon_(6)

    The evil master kidnapped all of your friends!

    Ow_fright_ad_100x100

    Explore the world or hang out with friends in your own condo. Get a unique look,...