Kassie Perkins competed in the Miss Tennessee International beauty pageant and was crowned for 2014. She will compete for the title of Miss International in August of this year.

Perkins is a junior accounting major at Tech and a Sunbright, Tenn. native. After being crowned, Perkins travelled throughout the southeastern United States to promote her platform “Keeping Children a Page Ahead.” If she is crowned Miss International in August, she will take a year off school to travel the world and promote her platform.

“I don’t want to be remembered for my appearance but for my mission,” said Perkins about her platform.

Perkins began the charity, “Keeping Children a Page Ahead,” three years ago to promote childhood literacy. So far, Perkins has been to 54 schools and read to more than 8,000 students to promote her platform. During the summer, she will go to libraries and read to children.

Perkins published her first book in March of 2014 called “Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way.” It’s about a caterpillar on a journey to find out who he is. Perkins said that it is the first book in the series and more will come soon.  

“I want to be the person to tell a child they can do something,” said Perkins. “I came from a place where I didn’t have much and illiteracy starts with children in families below the poverty line.”

Perkins is a partner with Dolly Parton’s organization Imagination Library. She has raised more than $2,000 for the program that delivers one book every month to each child in the program.

Camplife is also an organization Perkins partners with to promote childhood literacy. Camplife sends books to children in Zambia. Perkins will travel to Zambia over the summer with others in the organization to enrich literacy in the lives of more than 500 children. Donations are welcome to help send the books to Africa.