By Carrie Dillard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
In June 2013, a London native will vie for the title of Miss Kentucky.
Madison McCowan, the 21-year-old daughter of David and Angela McCowan, was crowned Miss Southeast Kentucky on Saturday at North Laurel High School.
“Judges have different opinions. You just do the best you can, give it your all, but you never know,” McCowan said. “It was my lucky day.”
McCowan is no stranger to pageants, having won Miss Kentucky Outstanding Teen in 2009. However, Saturday’s competition was the first time she competed in a swimsuit category. A little nerve-wracking, she said, but good practice for the upcoming Miss Kentucky contest in June.
McCowan is never shy to talk about her platform issue, though. It is perhaps her passion for the Pay It Forward Foundation that won her the crown.
“I think they saw how passionate I was about community service,” she said. “I don’t need a crown to do what I’m doing already with Pay It Forward, but I think I can reach more schools and more counties (with it).”
McCowan is the Kentucky chapter president for the Pay It Forward Foundation, which was founded in 2000. Recently, McCowan shared the mission of the Pay It Forward Foundation with students in Laurel County.
Through the program, members of the Laurel County Youth Leadership Council have been working to share simple, positive behaviors and kindness with their fellow classmates. The LCYLC is made up of 70 students from North Laurel Middle, South Laurel Middle, North Laurel High and South Laurel High schools. These students were chosen by teachers and staff members to be leaders at their school by being positive role models.
“They are some of the best kids,” she said, “and they are paying it forward through acts of kindness in their schools every day.”
McCowan hopes the MSEKY Organization will open doors to speak about her platform in other Kentucky schools.
“It’s our chapter’s goal to take this statewide,” she said. “I got into Pay It Forward because I wanted to live life to the fullest and do good deeds. I was the second frozen embryo baby born in Kentucky in 1991. Everyday for me is a miracle.”
Throughout the next year, McCowan will spend her free time recruiting, educating and raising funds to ensure a better community filled with individuals caring for and helping others. Not only is she a voice for the Pay it Forward, she is also the voice and face of the MSEKY Organization for the upcoming year.
“We are very proud to have Madison represent our organization here in our community as well as at state competition. She is beautiful, talented and very passionate about her platform issue. We are very excited to begin this new journey with Madison,” said Susan Weaver the co-director of the Miss Southeast Kentucky Scholarship Organization.
McCowan is currently attending the University of Kentucky where she is majoring in public relations and communications.