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Mt. Zion High crowns 'Top Model' this weekend

By Joel Hall

The Mt. Zion High School Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) will host its second annual "Top Model" fashion show and fund-raiser this Saturday from 7-10:30 p.m., at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center at 2530 Mt. Zion Parkway in Jonesboro.

Along with the chance to win cash scholarships redeemable at graduation, one Mt. Zion High School student will receive a full scholarship, worth $2,000, to attend classes at the Barbizon Modeling and Acting Center in Atlanta.

Billed as the Miss Mt. Zion High School Pageant two years ago, the event has evolved into a modeling competition between male and female students. PTSA member, Jo Ann Mitchell-Stringer, is the co-chair of the event.

"We're really glad to have boys this time," said Mitchell-Stringer. Three boys will be joining 17 girls in this year's competition. "It brings a different flavor and reaches a different audience."

Each contestant will have to model outfits in four different categories, school attire, urban wear, business wear, and formal wear. The participants also will be required to answer questions concerning their views on current events, their role models, and their plans after high school.

The evening will include performances by the school's chorus, the school's spoken word poetry group, "Cafe PHAME," and local teen R & B group, "Bliss." Contestants will be scored by a team of local celebrity judges, including Clayton County

Commissioner Virginia Gray, District Attorney Jewel Scott, Sheriff Victor Hill and WSB-TV anchor and reporter, Eric Philips.

"With the threat of [the loss of] accreditation looming over their heads, your heart has to go out to juniors and seniors at Clayton County high schools," said Philips. "Hopefully, this will be an activity for them to take their mind off that and focus on some of the good things Clayton County schools are doing.

"I think it's imperative that when our students are doing positive things ... that we support them and encourage them and applaud them," Philips continued. "Hopefully, this will be one way of doing that," he added.

"I am delighted to be involved in an activity that promotes dignity, self confidence, poise, and other positive attributes of our young people," said Gray. "This is the type of focus we need in this critical time." She said the event helps to "set the record straight" about Clayton County.

PTSA member ,Tawania Grangent, who co-chairs the event, said the competition does wonders for self-esteem.

"We have a whole range of models," said Grangent. "Not everybody is a size zero. I want them to know that they are also beautiful, inside and out."

Promoters are seeking a large turnout, because scholarship awards are determined by the amount of money raised. Tickets are $7 at the door.