Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend never met Brittany McCoy.
“My dad’s my best friend. He always has been,” said McCoy, a Dawson County High School junior who was crowned Miss Dawson County March 21.
A California native, she and father Mike McCoy moved to Dawson County from Forsyth County about eight years ago, when she was in third grade.
A single father, it was Mike McCoy who drove his young daughter to school sports, taught her how to fix her hair and bought her makeup for the first time.
“Without a mom, he was who did everything for me,” she said. “He became my dad and my mom.”
Mike McCoy marvels at the daughter he’s raised by himself since she was 2.
“She’s so focused,” he said. “She’s a great kid and has overcome a lot of obstacles in her life.”
It was Mike McCoy who encouraged his blue-eyed, blond daughter to enter her first pageant in eighth grade. It was a learning experience.
“My dad had got my hair curled and got me a dress, but I didn’t place, so he encouraged me to enter Dawson County Junior Miss, where I knew more people,” Brittany McCoy said.
“It’s kind of funny. My friend taught me how to walk for a pageant in gym class one day.”
She was a quick study. In addition to her recent local crown, the 17-year-old is currently the reigning Miss Forsyth County Supreme Queen and Miss Teen Alpharetta.
As the Alpharetta pageant winner, she has qualified for the Miss Teen Georgia pageant in June.
But beyond the pageants, she looks forward to making another dream come true, helping children.
Instead of asking for a car on her 16th birthday last year, she encouraged friends and family to make donations to St. Judes Children’s Hospital.
“I collected over $200 for the hospital, where so many miracles happen every day,” she said.
That effort has also helped shape her career ambitions.
Brittany McCoy plans to attend Georgia Southern University, with the goal of becoming a pediatric oncologist.
“That’s what I want to work with every day,” she added.
Mike McCoy said if anyone deserves to see her dreams come true, it’s his daughter.
E-mail Michele Hester at firstname.lastname@example.org.