It’s probably not a good idea to stand between Marissa McMickens and something she wishes to accomplish. McMickens was successful on her third attempt to win the title of Miss Northwestern–Lady of the Bracelet and will represent the university at June’s Miss Louisiana Pageant. As part of her crowning, Marissa will receive over $7,000 in scholarships and prizes along with the title. She said it has been the biggest honor and blessing that she could ever receive.
Marissa was determined from the beginning; giving up was never an option. She knew that with hard work, determination, and the support from her friends and family, she could take the title. A Pineville native, Marissa plans to take full advantage of the outstanding opportunity she has recieved. As Miss Northwestern—Lady of the Bracelet, McMickens has many fundraisers, recruiting trips, and important events planned for her year. Marissa is very active at her Northwestern. She is heavily involved with the Department of Creative and Performing Arts, is a member of the NSU Dance Company, Phi Mu Fraternity, Broadway to Go, and Make Your Own Theatre. In the coming months, you can also catch her playing Laurey in the upcoming musical OKLAHOMA! Being on stage in front of an audience is second nature for Marissa. “It is an opportunity for me to share what I love,” she explains. “I look at it as a performance opportunity. It’s a different style of musical theatre and dance that allows me to explore a new part of myself.”
Marissa is a Theatre major with a double concentration in Musical Theatre and Dance Performance. Over the next year, she will represent Northwestern State throughout Louisiana. She will use her appearances and engagements to promote her platform issue, which is bringing awareness to human trafficking. “Human Trafficking was something that was put on my heart my freshman year of college,” Marissa explains. “It is not a light subject and can be quite terrifying, but people need to be educated on the subject.” McMickens notes that human trafficking happens daily all over the world. It is the 3rd largest crime industry in the world. With the Super Bowl right around the corner, this article could save a life. Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest single human trafficking day in the United States. “It is so important that you are always aware of your surroundings and always trust your instinct,” explains McMickens. “If something does not feel right, get out of the situation.” Human Trafficking is not just sex slavery; it is also slaving through labor and organ harvesting. In 2014, 87 victims were identified in Louisiana as victims of human trafficking. “It can happen anywhere and to anyone,” Marissa says. “I am here to fight and be an advocate for those who do not have a voice. I am here to shine a light and end human trafficking.” McMickens hopes to go to high schools around Louisiana to discuss human trafficking. She also plans to talk to junior high students about personal safety and how to avoid potentially dangerous situations.
Over the next year, McMickens will also help raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network, the national charity for the Miss American organization and Phi Mu.