Ellis enjoys Junior Miss experience

Published 5:51 pm Wednesday, January 24, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Rachel Ellis, senior at Escambia Academy, got to experience a week of fun and hard work in Montgomery in preparation for America's Junior Miss Alabama finals.
Ellis, who won Escambia County's Junior Miss Aug. 5, left for Montgomery Jan. 12 to begin the week of preparation that is involved in getting ready for the production, which was Jan. 19 and Jan. 20.
Ellis stayed with a host family, Dr. Kim Whittington, and his wife Lin, for the week. She said that she could not have asked for a better host family and that she is "most definitely" going to keep in touch with them.
"I was anxious, but a little scared because I couldn't talk to my family for the whole week," Ellis said when asked how she felt when she learned she was going to the Alabama Junior Miss program.
Ellis said that her parents, Rob and Sonya Ellis, were really excited for her.
"They were more excited than nervous," Ellis said about her parent's reaction to their daughter being taken away from them for a week. "They knew that being away from me for so long was going to be hard but they could email me so it was fine."
Ellis most enjoyed the opening number of the program because all of the girls were together on stage. She also enjoyed getting to know the participants and said that her favorite part about the week was making lifelong friendships.
The participants were in for long hours in preparation for the big event. Most days started at 8 a.m. and ended around 10 p.m., Ellis said. She mentioned that they also got to do several fun things, like go to the zoo, so it was not all hard work, there was some play involved.
"I have the tendency to never get nervous," Ellis said about being in front of such a large crowd. "I was more looking forward to it than anything."
Ellis said that she wants to be a teacher so the most memorable place she visited was Dalraida Elementary School.
"I enjoyed talking to the kids and seeing what all they had to say," Ellis said about her trip to the school.
Ellis said that she had the time of her life, that she knows she has made some friendships that will last for forever, and that if she could do it all over again she would not change a thing about her experience.