Meet Miss Georgia

Name:                                                   Patricia Ford
Hometown:                                          Johns Creek, Georgia
Education:                                           Georgia Institute of Technology – Graduate, May 2015 - Bachelor of Science in   Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing
Platform Issue:                                   Promoting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Scholastic/Career Ambition:          Obtain MBA from Georgia Tech, Pursue a career in Social Entrepreneurship

Scholastic Honors: Graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology with Honors; Georgia Tech Dean’s List; HOPE Scholarship Recipient; 2011 Monte Jade Science and Technology Scholarship Recipient; National Honor Society

Leadership Roles: VP of Membership Development for Scheller College of Business Ambassadors; Executive Board Member for Phi Mu Sorority; GT Student Ambassador; Morale Leader for GT Dance Marathon; GT Freshman Orientation Leader; Project Manager for Tech Beautification Day; Captain of Atlanta Professional Dance Academy Team

Accomplishments: Anisa International “Rookie of the Year” Award, 2016; Miss America Serves Day Team Captain and one of the top fundraisers in America raising over $4,200 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, 2016; Chinese Business Association of Atlanta’s Chinese New Year Gala Mistress of Ceremonies; NCAA Varsity Athlete GT Dance Team; International Dance Challenge Platinum Award Recipient, 2011; Georgia Governor’s Honors Program Finalist

Interesting Facts: Fluent in Mandarin Chinese; Performed on China’s largest TV Network reaching 300 million people; Appeared bald in a Weather Channel commercial; Performed at Disney World Epcot; Climbed the Great Wall of China four times; Traveled to 6 different countries; Was once locked inside a school locker; Obsessed with cats

Employment: Anisa International Marketing Assistant, 2015-Current; The Weather Channel Marketing Intern, 2014; Atlanta Ballet Marketing Intern, 2012; Atlanta Professional Dance Academy Instructor and Choreographer, 2011

How has the world you come from shaped your dreams and aspirations?: I am a proud mix of two very different worlds.  My mom is Chinese and my dad is Caucasian. I have visited China on many occasions and from my experiences abroad, I learned to appreciate the customs, arts, and social institutions of a country that is very much a part of me. I spent 16 years enrolled in a Chinese-American dance studio. There, I was able to learn the art of both classical ballet as well as Chinese folk dance. Dance has helped me to blend these two cultures and really embrace my Asian-American heritage. I truly epitomize the American melting pot. Growing up in an interracial family and my practices as an artist has helped me become the worldly and creative young woman I am today.

Of all the ways you could succeed in your life, why have you chosen to succeed in the Miss America Pageant?: I first experienced Miss America on TV as a child. At that time, my family knew very little about the organization, and I remember my Mom saying, “You can never do pageants, Patricia…you are too short." After that conversation, I never gave pageants a second thought until a few years ago. Despite the fact that my mom's words still echoed in my mind, my personal goal to take advantage of each opportunity life offers pushed me to enter. After winning my very first pageant, I assumed that the Miss America Organization merely was something that allowed me to showcase my talents. However, I quickly learned this program isn't about promoting who you are, it's about realizing who you can become and the impact you can have on others.

What social issue, other than your platform, will have the greatest impact on your generation and why?: As a college graduate and full-time employee of a female-owned company, I have experienced the power of women in the workplace.  On the other hand, I also have seen the frustration and inequality of the still-existent glass ceiling.  As a participant in the MAO, I know first-hand the value and strength women bring to every task they undertake.  It concerns me that this truth is undervalued in the business world as evidenced by the fact that in 2016 women earn only 79 cents for every dollar men earn.  This is a social issue that has a tremendous impact on my generation and those to come.