Joanna Smith: Miss Teen Georgia 2001

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After my year as Miss Teen Georgia, I graduated from Early County High School in Blakely, GA and enrolled at Auburn University to study political science. It was after my freshman year at Auburn that the same thing that drew me to enter Miss Teen Georgia, drew me to Nashville, TN: a passion to perform country music. In 2004 I moved to Music City, started writing songs for a living and chasing the dreams of my childhood. I signed a record deal with RCA in 2010, and embarked on an adventure that I must say I was prepared for in no small part by my experience as Miss Teen almost a decade prior.

Winning Miss Teen Georgia in 2001 was a huge launching pad for me in so many ways. It built a confidence in me that I carried through many ups and downs in my professional career ever since. It also gave me the directly applicable experience to endure a life on the road through two national radio tours with as much grace and poise possible, and a talent for refreshing lipstick and hair in the most unglamorous of places!

I’m still living in Nashville, writing songs, and singing them in places near and far. When I’m not working, (yes, I always feel a small twinge of guilt calling it work) I enjoy yoga, reading, cooking, playing golf and spending time with a special family of refugees from Somalia I’ve enjoyed volunteering with for the past ten years. Through the years I’ve been blessed to continue my education at Vanderbilt University studying International Affairs, an admittedly odd pairing with country music, but something I am equally passionate about!

This Valentine’s Day I said yes to a kind, compassionate, smart and extremely handsome and perfect Georgia boy. Yes, I am in love indeed. We are going to get married on my family’s farm in Baker County in August and try our best not to melt.

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