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Miss GG urges kids to #8216;follow your dreams#039;

Seek your life's purpose, set high goals and reach for your dreams: that's the message Miss Greater Greenville Kimberly Kirby shared with a number of local youngsters on Monday.

Kirby, who represented the city at Miss Alabama this summer, spoke to a total of 35 local children and youth in two sessions at Safe Harbor-The Children's Advocacy Center in Greenville.

The occasion was a special back-to-school celebration for youngsters served by Safe Harbor along with the board members' children.

The 20-year-old Hueytown native, a student at the University of Montevallo, shared how one of her big dreams had come true when she was selected as Miss Greater Greenville.

&#8220I am just one of 48 girls across the state who won (Miss Alabama) preliminaries who is involved in community service,” Kirby said.

And community volunteering is something the young woman encourages for all ages through her Miss Alabama platform.

&#8220I've always promoted character education, and now I am expanding on that through my STRIVE program, talking to people about getting involved in their communities through volunteering.”

Kirby, a self-confessed former tomboy who once hated frills and makeup, said she first became involved in the Miss Alabama program to earn valuable college scholarship monies.

&#8220But I have learned it is not only great fun, it is a great way to help the community you represent. We don't have a preliminary in my hometown, so I had to seek out places that did.”

She encouraged the girls and boys present to one day consider becoming involved in preliminaries as contestants, directors and judges.

&#8220It's a great thing to do for your town when you grow up.”

Kirby said she believed she didn't win the Miss GG title &#8220because I was the prettiest or smartest.”

&#8220I believe my win was all a part of God's plan for me. I believe he has a special plan for each of you, too. I don't know why he picked me to be Miss Greater Greenville, but he did and I sure am glad!”

Kirby reminded the boys and girls to realize some hard times will come along the way for each person, &#8220and the best thing to do is push through and persevere.”

When asked what they hoped to be when they grew up, the responses from the children included everything from &#8220policeman” to &#8220paleontologist.”

&#8220We all have dreams…I am working toward my dream to become a teacher of the deaf, learning sign language,” Kirby said.

Having achieved her dream of going to the Miss Alabama program in 2006, Kirby is actively seeking another preliminary win to take her back in 2007.

She is also continuing to look for ways she can serve others.

&#8220This morning I visited at the nursing home here in Greenville…some of those folks don't have anyone to come and see them. They would love a visit from someone like you, or even a letter. There are ways you can help right in your own home and your hometown.”

Kirby, who used her vocal talents to sing for second group of children, encouraged all the youngsters to &#8220get out there and follow your dreams.”

&#8220Make an impact in your community, achieve your goals and help others along the way.”

Following Kirby's presentations, the two groups were served a pizza lunch complete with ice cream and a &#8220back-to-school” cake for dessert, and goody bags to take home.

&#8220We had a really good turnout. I appreciate Kimberly coming; she is a real trouper. Getting to hear her sing was also a real treat for all of us,” Kathy Smyth, Safe Harbor director, said.