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Reese Johnson competing in Miss Michigan competition

In World
June 09, 2024

MONROE — As Miss Monroe County 2023, Reese Johnson has made an impact.

“At the Memorial Day Parade, Dione (Oerther, program executive director) said, ‘I don’t know if I ever heard that many people scream Miss Monroe’s name,’ She said I left an impact,” Johnson said. “The mayor (Bob Clark) came up to me. That proved to me that I made an impact as Miss Monroe.”

Reese Johnson, Miss Monroe County 2023, will compete June 15 for the title of Miss Michigan.

Reese Johnson, Miss Monroe County 2023, will compete June 15 for the title of Miss Michigan.

Johnson, 18, is the second youngest Miss Monroe County in the program’s 61-year history. Her year-long reign is ending Aug. 17, but she’s got one more big appearance: June 15’s Miss Michigan Scholarship competition.

Previous Coverage: Reese Johnson crowned Miss Monroe County 2023

Johnson, the daughter of Monroe’s Patrick and Emily Johnson, is leaving for Muskegon Sunday with some supporters. She’ll compete against 19 other county candidates for the state title.

“I’m the youngest one this year,” Johnson said. “My mom is coming to stay all week. My grandparents are coming out. My dad is coming out. I’ve got a small group: Miss Monroe County board and mentors. They’ll be cheering in the audience.”

Johnson also is bringing a lot of gear.

“Three outfits per day, active wear, appearance outfit, competition wardrobe. The car will be packed full,” Johnson said.

Johnson is hoping to blaze some more trails in Muskegon.

Reese Johnson, then 17, is shown after she was crowned Miss Monroe County 2023 at the 61st Miss Monroe County Scholarship Competition at Monroe County Community College.

Reese Johnson, then 17, is shown after she was crowned Miss Monroe County 2023 at the 61st Miss Monroe County Scholarship Competition at Monroe County Community College.

“I’m really excited to represent Monroe. I was the second youngest Miss Monroe County in history and the first openly LGBTQ+ Miss Monroe. I could possibly be the first LGTBQ+ Miss Michigan. I’m blazing the trail for a lot of people,” Johnson said. “I’m really excited to put my best foot forward. I know it will be a lot of fun.”

Johnson has a week packed with appearances, programs and events, including autograph sessions, meals, putt-putt golf and an appearance aboard a cruise ship. She’ll also compete in interviews, talent, onstage question, health and fitness competition and an evening gown event.

Her platform is LGBTQ+ support, education and research.

“That’s always been my platform,” Johnson said. “I hope to do my best. If I make the top 10, that’s amazing. If I win, that’s amazing. I want all of those things, but mostly I want to represent myself to the best of my ability and to represent Monroe County well.”

Johnson competed in last year’s Miss Michigan Teen competition in Muskegon and was named fourth runner-up. She won the overall onstage question and also received a community service award.

Reese Johnson is shown performing her vocal selection, “The Wizard and I,” at the at the 61st Miss Monroe County Scholarship Competition in 2023.

Reese Johnson is shown performing her vocal selection, “The Wizard and I,” at the at the 61st Miss Monroe County Scholarship Competition in 2023.

Johnson said becoming Miss Monroe County was her dream.

She won on her first attempt at the title.

“I really enjoyed getting to meet people,” Johnson said. “I did the Alzheimer’s Walk, Christmas in Ida, Christmas in Dundee, Miss Senior Monroe County and a lot during March is Reading Month. I went to five or six elementary schools.”

Several years ago Johnson started PRISM, which offers support for Monroe County’s LGBTQ+ youth and has three main focuses: support, resources and education, including ally training. Today, PRISM has non-profit status.

“That was my No. 1 goal at age 18,” Johnson said.

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Johnson recently graduated from Monroe County Middle College and Monroe County Community College. In the fall she’ll attend the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan.

“I will major in graphic design and double major in the music realm,” Johnson said.

She may compete in more scholarship competitions.

“I find a lot of joy in competing. I may compete for more,” she said. “Miss Monroe was really the dream.”

For more information about June 15’s Miss Michigan Scholarship competition, visit etix.com/ticket/e/1043636/2024-miss-michigan-program-muskegon-frauenthal-theater-at-frauenthal-center.

Contact reporter Suzanne Nolan Wisler at swisler@monroenews.com.

This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: Reese Johnson to represent Monroe at Miss Michigan competition

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