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Maggie Bridges, 21, smiles and waves to the crowd shortly after being crowned Miss Georgia last weekend. She will be representing Georgia in the Miss America pageant in September.
Photo by: Boyd
 

The news Miss Georgia is still a hometown girl

Published 8:25am Saturday, June 28, 2014

The old saying that it takes a village to raise a child is something Maggie Bridges believes wholeheartedly.

From singing in First United Methodist Church and performing in Bainbridge Little Theatre productions to taking piano lessons from Martha Mobley for 10 years, Bridges is rooted in Decatur County. It’s where the people who love her, care for her and make sure she’s always at her best surround her.

Now, Bridges can show her home and the rest of the country how the lessons she’s learned while growing up in Southwest Georgia have earned her the title of Miss Georgia 2014.

“The feeling is surreal,” Bridges said. “But I’m exactly the same person I am before I left and became Miss Georgia.”

Bridges graduated from Southwest Georgia Academy in Damascus, a short trip from her home in Brinson. A rising senior at Georgia Tech, she is majoring in business administration with a concentration in information technology. Her career goal is to bridge the gap between the informational technology world and the pharmaceutical industry, she said.

Currently though, Bridges is enjoying a break back in Decatur County. She has a variety of upcoming local events planned, including a fundraiser through the Children’s Miracle Network.

Now that the feeling of winning the Miss Georgia pageant has sunk in, Bridges said the most important thing on her list is to say thank you to everyone who helped her get to this point.

“I don’t think I will ever be able to say thank you enough,” she said. “So I’m making sure people know how grateful I am. Just the prayers alone from Bainbridge should have been enough to win me the crown. If everybody who said they were going to pray for me did, then I was set, no matter what. I’m really, really overwhelmingly thankful.”

The road wasn’t an easy one to becoming Miss Georgia, Bridges said. But along the way she’s learned determination and giving what you love 100 percent effort is a value that has significant payoff.

“Regardless of what you want to do, whether that’s pageantry, whether you want to show hogs, whether you want to become a famous basketball player, regardless of what it is, you need to find something you love and go after it with everything you have,” Bridges said. “I think it’s really important to find something you absolutely love, and do everything in your power to make it happen.”

Bridges remembers begging her mother, Cathy, to let her do pageants when she was young. After going through the process and deciding she wanted to quit, Cathy insisted Bridges stick through it and try to do better. Sure enough, her mother’s words were all Bridges needed to hear.

Now Bridges is headed to the Miss America pageant in September.

“It’s the life experiences of going after things with your whole heart that lead you to become the person you want to be one day,” Bridges said.

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