Jordan Crozier

Jordan Crozier

“Being a title holder is not just being a pretty face.” That’s Jordan Crozier’s message after winning the 2018 Miss Kentucky Teen USA competition, bringing the crown home to Somerset. The event was held January 27 and 28 in Louisville at the Holy Trinity Clifton Campus. It’s associated with the Miss Teen USA competition, part of the Miss USA system, and the winner will go on to the Miss Teen USA national competition later this summer (date and time currently unavailable).

Contestants must be of a certain age, never married, never given birth and to have good moral character, according to Executive State Director Connie Clark Harrison. They are judged in three phases — interview, activewear and evening gown.

“(Miss Teen USA) doesn’t really want to be known as a pageant anymore; it’s embracing the idea of the event as a competition,” said Harrison. “It’s more about the confidence of a young lady and how she’s going to be in service to others.”

Crozier, 18, a Somerset Community College student, wasn’t the only local product to do well in the Kentucky pageant. First runner-up was Zoe Stinson, also of Somerset.

Crozier, who plans on studying criminal justice with an emphasis on child advocacy, said that she received help from her workplace of Gold Star Chili where a fundraiser was held to boost her cause.

“A lot of my teachers and friends and family came to support me and donate money,” she said. “Cumberland Behavior Group sponsored my entry fee, and Tammy Baskin and Brittany Hicks made sure I felt beautiful in all my attire.”

But perhaps her biggest source of help came from above — and from within herself.

“I prepared for this event by not just practicing my walk or how to present myself,” she said. “I spent my days praying that whatever door needs to be opened will be opened.

“I spent most of my nights in the gym trying to burn off every doughnut I had eaten that day,” she added.

Crozier said the cameras and fame are “a lot of fun” but the glory goes to the one who chose her to wear the crown. She also said the competition made her more aware of the person she is to become in life.

“This event was so dear to my heart,” said Crozier. “It’s not just about being a pretty face or a crown. You have to walk the walk. I have to represent the state the best you can, and to let others know that your story isn’t over, you can be anything you want to be in life as long as you keep your faith.”

Harrison said that Crozier would be involved with a number of charitable causes and good-works organizations, including Smile Train who helps provide corrective surgery for cleft palates and lips; Best Buddies of Kentucky, a program to help develop friendship and opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and Dress for Success in Louisville, which empowers women to succeed with professional attire and developmental tools.

Stinson is 16 and currently a junior at Somerset High School, hoping to study dietetics at the University of Kentucky. She said that she was “thrilled to be part of the pageant, and to share her “Project First Day” efforts — a non-profit she created in conjunction with school resource centers to provide financially insecure students with a new set of cloth for the first day back to school or a new job interview.

“The need in our community is great on many levels,” she said. “I don’t think people understand how hard school can be, and I feel that if a student can begin it with confidence, that student has more of a level playing field and added confidence.

“It was a huge honor to be standing in the top two with very worthy girls from all over the state,” she added. “Any girl there would have been perfect for the job we were ‘applying’ for. It is a job!”

Stinson said that the girls all became close over the process of the competition, and she was happy for her fellow Pulaski Countian to take the crown.

“I was so full of gratitude when Jordan and I were standing there together as we were both representing our amazing town,” said Stinson. “Jordan will do a great job and I look forward to watching her journey this year.”