Jillian Jefferson was surprised by both her win and the weight of the rhinestone tiara she received at the Butte County Fair last month. In her reign as Miss Butte County, the 17-year-old Chico girl wants to connect with the community by adding to her long list of volunteer efforts, which include work at Enloe Medical Center and CARD. Jillian is a senior at Mercy High School in Red Bluff, where she is on the swim team and was an exchange student in Switzerland last year. She is eligible for the Miss California pageant, but she is not yet sure whether she’ll compete. The competition will be in August, and by then she’ll be mostly looking forward to college, where she plans to study sociology and photojournalism.
What does being Miss Butte County mean to you?
To me it means representing our community in a way that’s positive and in a way that other girls can look up to and have a positive role model. I’m really looking forward to being more active in the community, and I think this is the perfect opportunity for me to do that.
Is this your first pageant?
I’ve actually done the Missette Butte County pageant. I did that twice. The second time I won, so in 2002-03 I was Missette Butte County. I used to do a pageant called American Coed Pageants, and I’ve been doing that since about fifth grade, since I was like 12. It’s in San Jose, and it’s a cool pageant because it’s not about beauty or anything like that. It’s about stage presence and interviewing and you’re judged on personality.
What was your talent for this competition?
I write music. I’ve been playing guitar for 12 years, so I played a song that I wrote on my guitar. I wasn’t nervous at all because playing music and performing for people is what I love to do. After it was done I actually wanted to do it again. For the talent section I wanted to wear something that was really me, so I was like, I’ll just wear jeans and a T-shirt, and they said “Maybe you should wear something sparkly.” Well, sparkly’s not really my thing, but … [laughs] I ended up wearing a dress.
How do your parents feel about your win?
They were really supportive, especially my mom. She’s always there, and she’s always finding a way to help out. She’s really busy, but she gives up her time to help me. I just really appreciate it. I don’t know if I show it as much as I should, but I’m really appreciative.