“It taught me to dream big. I never thought I would be traveling the nation speaking on issues that mattered to me, and yet, it all happened,” Jeanette Morelan, senior social entrepreneurship and mass communications student at Belmont and recently crowned Miss Nashville, said of her experience with the Miss America organization.
Morelan was crowned Miss Nashville on Sunday, Nov. 8 during the pageant held at Stratford High School. As Miss Nashville, Morelan will represent the city through a number of appearances and events and will continue on to compete for Miss Tennessee in June 2016. The winner of Miss Tennessee will go on to compete for Miss America.
Since beginning her time with the organization in 2010 by representing the nation as Miss America’s Outstanding Teen and working with “The Power of One” platform, Morelan said she’s had her eyes set on future titles and the opportunities they allow. As Outstanding Teen, she raised over $200,000 for Children’s Miracle Network and was hooked on the experience. Since then, Morelan said everything she’s done – attending Belmont, serving as past student body president and traveling to South Africa as a Lumos Traveler – has contributed to the woman she’s become and further prepared her for taking the stage.
For Morelan, Miss America titles mean far more than the competition and a crown. “I really see this as a 365 day a year job. It’s all about investing in yourself. After the competition, it’s all about using the reputation of the Miss America organization to serve others. I already have many appearances lined up, and I can’t wait to get out there and get involved in my community,” Morelan said.
With her most recent title behind her, Morelan hopes to move forward by making an impact on the community she has come to love. A Wisconsin native, Morelan said she loves Nashville and wants to help with its growth and development. “I’m hoping that my year as Miss Nashville means making a real and tangible difference here. I am so proud of this city and what it stands for, and I want to help it continue to grow. I’m excited for every moment I’ll have where I realize the power that one person has to make a difference.”