Leach makes Top 10 in Miss KY Pageant

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By Amanda Kelly, Staff Writer


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A 20-year-old Dry Ridge woman finished as a top-10 finalist in the Miss Kentucky pageant June 28-30, along with winning the Quality of Life award. 

Hayley Leach said she’s proud of accomplishing the feat. 

“There were beautiful and talented girls from all across the state and it is a true honor to have placed in the top (10),” Leach said. 

The three-day competition had each contestant show their talents, their poise, accomplishments and community outreach through interviews, a talent competition and a swimsuit competition. 

“I prayed before every phase of competition that God would give me guidance and the confidence to compete,” Leach said. “I felt overwhelmingly at peace during the entire competition.”

Leach won the Quality of Life award for her autism awareness platform: “See the Able, Not the Label.” She chose that platform because her brother, Matthew, was diagnosed with autism. 

“I was honored and humbled to have been selected as the Quality of Life award winner,” Leach said. “A separate panel of judges selected me as the winner after a private interview where I explained to them the vast amount of work I have done with my projects on autism and bullying and the national awards I have won with my platform. I was blessed to share the award with my brother.”

Leach won a $1,000 scholarship for winning the Quality of Life award, and she won a $500 scholarship for being a top 10 finalist this year. 

Leach said she feels like she did her best for the talent portion with her clogging performances. 

“I have improved leaps and bounds from where I was as a young girl with my clogging routines and I only see myself getting better from here,” Leach said. 

With the rest of summer ahead of her, Leach will be completing summer classes at the University of Kentucky and deciding whether she plans to compete again next year for the Miss Kentucky crown. 

“I had so many friends and family from Grant County send well wishes my way,” Leach said. “I am so thankful for my Grant County community, and I hope I have made them proud.”