Women November 30, 2021 at 12:30 pm

Get to know the University of Kentucky graduate crowned Miss USA

Mildred Europa Taylor | Head of Content

Mildred Europa Taylor November 30, 2021 at 12:30 pm

November 30, 2021 at 12:30 pm | Women

Elle Smith crowned Miss USA. Photo: FYI/HULU/ NEW YORK POST

University of Kentucky graduate Elle Smith, who currently works as a reporter for WHAS11 in Louisville, was crowned Miss USA 2021 Monday night in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Smith graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and a minor in political science. The 23-year-old won Miss Kentucky USA in May.

“I am still in disbelief that tonight just happened,” she tweeted at the time after taking the Miss Kentucky crown. “I am humbled and thrilled to be your Miss Kentucky USA 2021. It is a true honor and I will serve Kentucky to the best of my ability over the next year. Now let’s get to work.”

Smith is now the second Kentucky woman to be crowned Miss USA after Tara Connor won the pageant in 2006. Smith will go on to represent the U.S. at the 2021 Miss Universe pageant in Eilat, Israel scheduled for December 12.

Born in Springfield, Ohio, Smith graduated from Shawnee High School in 2016 and was a volleyball player and an honor student. At the University of Kentucky, Smith was the vice president of the university’s National Association of Black Journalists chapter, according to WHAS11.

She was also a reporter for the University of Kentucky’s Student News Network and a videographer for the university’s Athletics and SEC Network, the media outlet said.

In her Miss USA bio, Smith said that being a journalist in America now is “an honor and a role I take very seriously.” Smith, who plays both the viola and piano, advocates for cervical cancer awareness and prevention in honor of her late grandmother, according to the Insider.

She spoke about honesty and how businesses can show concern for the environment during the pageant’s question-and-answer round.

“I think we’ve got to look at it from a macro level and also a micro level. So at a macro level countries need to switch to green energy. I think that’s something we can all agree on. But then at the micro-level, we all know how to reduce, reuse, recycle. Those are things we can implement in our daily lives,” she said.

University officials congratulated Smith on Twitter Monday night. The school’s National Association of Black Journalists chapter wrote: “What a moment! #NABJCongrats to our very own @ellesmithtv of @WHAS11 who is the new @MissUSA!!!!!”

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