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2015 50 Most Beautiful

Courtney Parella
Courtney Parella
Hometown: 
Grenada, Miss.
Age: 
23
Relationship Status: 
Single
Party Affiliation: 
Republican

Courtney Parella works as an executive assistant for Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), but her political career began in an unlikely place: the 2013 Miss Mississippi College pageant. 

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“It gave me this confidence that I’ve never had before,” she said. “It made me feel like if I work really hard, I can accomplish what I want to accomplish.”

Winning the pageant was a turning point for the communications major.

“I started really working hard and trying to push myself and do things that I wouldn’t normally do,” she said.

The renewed sense of determination spurred Parella into applying for an internship with Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss) and ultimately landed her a job in Harper’s office.

“There’s something about once you stand on stage in a swimsuit on statewide television, you don’t really care about much else after that,” Parella said with a laugh.

— Lauren Aguirre