Just as the colors of a rainbow are every bright hue and variation, so are all God's children.

Two Horn Lake sisters, Alyssa and Rachel Storley, have a "rainbow connection" of sorts with each other and with the community in which they live.

Both girls were adopted from the Hunan province of China, renowned for its spicy cuisine.

"I call them the Spice girls," said their mother Debbie Storley, a retired U.S. Marine and somewhat of a trailblazer herself. "Hunan is where they grow chili peppers."

Alyssa Storley, 18, recently crowned State Miss Rainbow, was born in China but grew up with a loving family in Horn Lake to become one of the top students in her graduating class at Horn Lake High School.

For the past several years, Alyssa has been involved with the International Rainbow for Girls, a Christian sorority for young girls.

"Leadership is important," said Storley, who posed for a photographer in her front yard, wearing her glittering tiara and sash received during her crowning moment. "I hope I have been a good role model and I have tried to be a good person. I want to be the best person that I can be."

Both Alyssa and Rachel are musically inclined. Alyssa plays the clarinet. Rachel plays the French horn. One might even say they are in tune with each other — most of the time. Mom Debbie said both of her daughters express themselves through their music.

"They each have their own moods, you might say," mom Debbie says.

Alyssa leaves for college in August and has plans to attend the University of Memphis School of Music and Education.

"To me, music is a way of expressing myself," Alyssa said. "In movies, it sets the tone of the film and the storyline. It would be boring without music."

Both girls have played their instruments in the First Baptist Church of Horn Lake. The girl's father and Debbie's husband John also played in the band when he was in high school.

"He is surrounded by girls and musicians," Debbie said.

Other than music, Alyssa's favorite subject was English. Alyssa loves stories and loves to read.

Most of all, Debbie Storley said both her daughters are goal-oriented,

Alyssa in particular.

"When she gets her heart set on something, she will get it," Debbie said. "I trained both the girls to be good leaders and not to ask anyone else to do something that they would not be willing to do."

Alyssa said her role as State Miss Rainbow is to inspire.

"When I was crowned State Miss Rainbow I really started to reflect upon my life," Alyssa said. "I was just a little baby born in China and now I have a family over here. You can say God works in mysterious ways."

The family's across-the-street neighbors Barbara and Richard Chambers cherish times spent with both girls, especially Alyssa, who has befriended the elderly couple.

"I just think any young person who grows an interest in old feeble people makes them special," Barbara Chambers said. "When you have a young person who expresses an interest in an older person, I like to see the spotlight on them and all the good things."

Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at rlong@desototimestribune.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252

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