When Amy Albaugh heard her name called as the new Miss Kentucky Teen America, she automatically began looking for her mother in the audience.

“She was the only fan that could be there that night, so I looked for her first,” said Albaugh, a Model Laboratory School senior and daughter of Rich and Donna Albaugh of Richmond.

Albaugh was crowned on the night of Jan. 7 in Lexington.

“I thought I didn’t have a chance,” she said. “There were so many beautiful girls.”

She competed in the areas of interview, swimsuit, spokesmodel and evening wear.

Aside from winning the title of Miss Kentucky Teen America, Albaugh also went home with the modeling award, a $40,000 scholarship to Upper Iowa University and a $2,000 modeling contract with Cosmo Modeling Agency in Louisville. She now holds eight titles.

Even though she was thrilled to have won the scholarship, Albaugh is going to stay at home and attend Eastern Kentucky University.

“It would be hard to be Miss Kentucky Teen and be going to school in Iowa,” she said. “I’m going to stay here with my family.”

The modeling contract includes free head shots and portfolio, as well as walking and speaking lessons, she said.

She will travel to Nashville for the Miss Teen America Pageant the first weekend in July and will be working hard until then, she said.

“I’ll be exercising, eating healthy and working on my wardrobe,” she said.

She admits that she is going to be extremely nervous, but she will use the remedy she knows best.

“I’m going to talk to my mom a lot,” she said. “She’s the only person who can calm my nerves.”

Albaugh’s platform is “Volunteering — A Rewarding Way of Life,” and volunteering is something she knows plenty about.

“When I was five, I started volunteering at my church,” she said. “I’ve done Habitat for Humanity and also volunteered at the Berea hospital. It’s a way to give back to your community with no strings attached.”

Volunteering at the hospital is what made Albaugh want to pursue a career as a nurse.

Juggling school, being the captain of Model’s varsity cheerleading team and a pageant contestant is not easy, but she tries to use her time wisely.

“Sometimes I’ll do my homework while we’re on the road or in the hotel room getting ready,” she said.

Her mother admits there are many ups and downs in the world of pageant competitions, but said it has been an overall positive experience for Amy.

“It’s given her a good self image and a good self-esteem,” Donna said. “It’s also been a good mother-daughter experience. We get to try out new hairstyles and travel. It’s just brought us closer together.”

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com or 623-1669, Ext. 234.

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