Miss Sanpete shares ‘hero’ platform with local schools
By Linda Petersen
Dec. 21, 2017
This week Miss Sanpete County Michayla Jackson is sharing her platform with students at four local schools.
On Monday, she spoke to Mt. Pleasant Elementary students. Then on Tuesday, she visited with Fairview Elementary students. Yesterday, Manti Elementary students heard from her in a special assembly.
Then tomorrow, as part of the assembly culminating Spirit Week, she will speak to North Sanpete High School students.
Jackson’s platform is “Honor, Education, Respect, Others.” Jackson, 20, said she came up with the idea after breaking both her feet in a gymnastics accident last year in Russia where she had been teaching English for three months.
Despite the accident, she was determined to participate in a long-planned two-week backpacking trip across Europe. With only two small wooden crutches (all that was available in Russia), she hobbled across London, Scotland, Paris, Florence, Venice, Rome and then back to Russia.
An airport in Scotland was nearly her undoing. After painfully pulling herself up two flights of stairs, Jackson was at her rope’s end, she said. Then, out of nowhere, an airport employee, noticing her predicament, found her a wheelchair and got her where she needed to go.
He had no idea what that meant to her, she said.
“He was just doing his job, but that wheelchair and his concern meant so much to me. He was a hero for me,” she said.
The experience changed Jackson’s life, and when she decided to compete for Miss Sanpete County, her platform came to her without effort.
“I want people to know you don’t have to be a superhero to be a hero,” she said. “To be a hero is to be the best you can be—the best you. That is something only you can offer.”
As she speaks to children and teens across the county, Jackson said she hopes to deliver the message that “they can become heroes by honoring who they are, educating themselves and respecting and serving others.”
“They don’t have to have their face on a cereal box or participate in the Olympics to be a hero,” she said. “They can be a hero every day by serving others and by being themselves.”
Jackson said she was also inspired by the Cat in the Hat book, “I Want to Be Somebody New.”
A North Sanpete High School graduate, Jackson is looking forward to talking to students at the school.
“I’m really excited to talk to them because the current seniors were freshmen when I was in high school,” she said. “I watch them at the games, and I feel like I know them. I’m excited to share something that is a really big deal to me—to let them know a little bit more about who I am.”
Jackson plans to visit more local schools in the spring as her work schedule allows.
In the meantime, she highlights people she feels are heroes on her Miss Sanpete County Instagram and Facebook pages. She recently highlighted her great-grandfather James Olie Noorlander, who was a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Jackson has had surgery on both her feet, the most recent on Dec. 1, to recreate the ligaments and tendons, along with removing bone shards from her ankle joints.
A graduate of Snow College, Jackson is currently working as a secretary in Provo. She hopes to attend Weber State in the fall to study respiratory therapy.
Along with pursuing that career, Jackson said she hopes to someday be a wife and mother.