Life changed for Oak Grove High student Ryan Henry last spring when she found an abandoned kitten outside First Baptist Church in Hattiesburg.

“While I was walking into the church with my family, I found a teeny, tiny kitten in the bushes,” said Ryan, 16, of Oak Grove. “I was shocked someone had treated an animal so badly and just threw it away. I was so horrified I decided I wanted to do something to help animals.”

That day led Ryan to undertake animal adoption and awareness as her platform while representing Hattiesburg as Miss Leaf River Valley Teen West in the Miss Mississippi Outstanding Teen Pageant last July in Vicksburg

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