Princess Jessie Fairchild said, when asked about how it felt to be an Azalea Court Princess, "It's the most memorable high school experience I've ever had. It's been wonderful."
One of the things that has made it most memorable for Princess Jessie is the camaraderie between the five young women on the court. "You take five girls from totally different groups and work together to make the pageant happen. We've really gotten to know each other and bonded."
She said the shopping trip to choose the matching outfits was the first time together. "We really worked together. It was a challenge, working with five totally different shapes."
Princess Jessie is the only one of the five princesses who was born and raised in Brookings. She has loved living and growing up here, but she says she doesn't plan to raise her children here. She has her eyes set on Tigard, which she says is still a fairly small town, but close to the big city of Portland.
Jessie, who has been singing all of her life, thinks a larger town will offer more opportunities to strengthen whatever talents her children may have.
Her first move from Brookings, however, will be to Salt Lake City where she plans to live with her older sister, Juliann, a dental assistant, while she studies for a degree in management at Latter-day Saints Business School. Once she has the business degree, Jessie says she plans to go on to become a cosmetologist and have her own salon.
The most important thing in her life, she says, is her mom, Jill Fairchild. She quickly added, "And, of course, God and my church. My mom raised all six of us by herself. She is such a strong person. If I can be half the person my mom is, I'll be a success. I don't know what I would do without God and my mom. I wouldn't be the person I am."
In addition to 21-year-old Juliann, Jessie has three other sisters, Jamie, Ronnie, and Karen, who range in age from 16 to 9, and one brother, Owen, 11.
Her favorite subject is math because there are no "ifs about it." But, then, there's also Sea Breeze, choir, and drama. "I love being on the stage with millions of people watching." There may not be millions, but there will certainly be a big crowd watching when she sings "Only Hope," a song she loves, during the talent part of the pageant. "It just hit me," she said about the song.
Jessie is also enthusiastic about her job as hostess at the Flying Gull where she has been working for a year. "I love my job. It's like another family." She said her boss, Peter Spratt, has been very supportive and willing to work around her busy court schedule.
There were several other supportive people Jessie wanted to recognize, including Summer Worlton, last year's Azalea queen, and her mother, Cece Worlton. They've been so supportive and helpful, telling me what to expect and what to wear, and making my dress." Jessie also gave honorable mention to Jason Friar, "an inspiring and supportive friend."
Her advice to younger girls interested in the Azalea Court is, "If you want to do it, don't hesitate to apply. If you have dreams of being an Azalea princess, go for it!"