OHS senior Zoe Rubenstein crowned as Miss Hospitality

Published 3:30 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Oxford has found its newest and brightest Miss Hospitality for 2022 in Oxford High School senior Zoe Rubenstein.

Rubenstein officially took up her title on Saturday, Mar. 5 to a small crowd of family and friends in the Cannon Chevrolet.

Established for more than 70 years, the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Competition has championed the Mississippi’s tourism and economic development while simultaneously giving young Mississippi women the opportunity to win scholarship money.

Local Miss Hospitality director Danielle Maury said her goal is to increase the presence of pageantry in Oxford and to remove the negative stigma associated with it. Oxford has an abundance of intelligent young men and women and Maury just wants to help them shine.

“It has ups and downs just like every other industry but the main thing is to get the positive message out on what great pageantry can do for young women young men,” said Maury. “It really can change the mind of people. It’s more than just ball gowns and fitness or swimsuit. It really allows people to show their intellect and personalities.”

The young lady crowned the state’s Miss Hospitality serves as the official goodwill ambassador for Mississippi, traveling regionally and nationally to promote the Hospitality State and share her story. She also enjoys her part of more than $100,000 in prizes and scholarships offered by our program.

The scholarship money would help Rubenstein who is looking forward to attending the University of Mississippi in the fall with a major in allied health sciences on the pre-nursing track.

“Not sure what my path is yet, but I’m excited to start my journey and I’ve wanted to be a pediatric nurse for a while,” said Rubenstein.

Pageants are not a new experience for the OHS senior. Rubenstein said she participated in pageants when she was younger and just recently dived back into pageantry after a recommendation from a teacher.

“This seemed wonderful and like such a good pageant so I went home and I researched it,” said Rubenstein. “After looking into it, I thought this could be for me and it’s be so fun so far.”

Not only did Rubentstein think Miss Hospitality would be a great fit for her, but she brought along a young friend to participate in local competitions with her to serve as her mentee. Little Miss Hospitality is a recent program designed for Miss Hospitality contestants to serve as mentors to young girls in their communities.

Rubenstein chose Annika Quinn Dodd from her dance studio as her Little Miss Hospitality of Oxford. As frequent dance partners, Rubenstein knew they would have great chemistry.

“We do big sis-little sis for each big competition and she was my little sister. I knew she did pageants too and we always do well together, so I said she would be the perfect fit,” she said. “We have fun together, she knows how to put a pretty dress on and she knows how to rock the stage.”

As Miss Hospitality for Oxford, Rubenstein represents the best of what the city has to offer and serves as the community’s spokesperson and tourism and development promoter.

“So far, I’ve learned a bunch of people skills,” said Rubenstein. “I’ve been kind of shy in the past but Miss Hospitality has taught me to go out and talk to people because you never know what they’re going to say. It never hurts to ask.”

According to Maury, Rubenstein is a great fit for the Miss Hospitality program.

“She not only has the intellect of being a really high-ranking scholar in Oxford,” said Maury, “she’s involved in her community, she’s involved at school, she does dance. She’s well put together and she has all the attributes of a good ambassador for Oxford.”

“Working with Ms. Danielle has been a breath of fresh air,” said Rubenstein. “She’s been so great and she always wants me to do my best.”

Rubenstein will go on to represent Oxford in the 73rd Annual Miss Hospitality Competition in Hattiesburg July 15-16, 2022. She said even if she isn’t crowned at the state competition, it’s all about having fun to her.

“I’m a little nervous but also really excited,” said Oxford’s Miss Hospitality. “I’m really excited to see all the activities we’re going to do, to meet the other Miss Hospitalities from around Mississippi and to go and have new experiences.”