As Miss Lexington, Ramos' life gets intense leading up to Miss Kentucky Pageant

Life gets intense during pageant season

aroberst@herald-leader.comJune 28, 2013 

  • If you go

    2013 Miss Kentucky Pageant

    What: Thirty-two contestants representing counties throughout Kentucky compete for the official title of Miss Kentucky and the Miss Kentucky Scholarship.

    When: 7 p.m. today

    Where: Singletary Center for the Arts, 405 Rose St.

    Tickets: $50 You can purchase tickets by calling 859-257-4929

No makeup, no sash and no crown, Miss Lexington Stephanie Ramos, 20, lives a disciplined life on and off pageant season.

Early in the morning, when Ramos' alarm sounds, she rises to a healthy breakfast of egg whites, fruit and Greek yogurt. After her morning meal she heads to the gym for her workout and then to the studio to meet with her director to practice the Latin-jazz dance that is her routine for the Miss Kentucky Pageant, a three-day competition that ends Saturday night at the Singletary Center for the Arts.

The intensity of her schedule during pageant season makes her job as a shift leader at Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt in Danville seem laid back.

"Yes, I make frozen yogurt all day," Ramos said laughing when asked about her job at the restaurant. "I am a normal human being."

Ramos, a broadcast journalism major at the University of Kentucky, said people sometimes recognize her as Miss Lexington when she's at work.

"It feels good when people recognize me, but sometimes I'm a little surprised," said Ramos.

Ramos entered her first pageant at 17, which makes her relatively new to the pageant circuit, where some contestants have been competing for a longer time.

Ramos, a native of Puerto Rico, was born 20 weeks early and her family called her "a miracle baby." The family moved to Pennsylvania, but after 9/11 relocated to Danville, which her mother found through an Internet search for the best places to raise children.

But it turned out that's where Ramos became a victim of cyber bullying.

Her senior year of high school, Ramos was bullied for "being pretty" and accused of "stealing other girls' men."

She wasn't very active on social media, but a friend showed Ramos the negative posts and comments about her.

Hurt, she avoided school, and tried to keep the situation from her family.

"I found her crying on her floor ... because they were being so mean to her," her mother, Annette Ramos, said.

After speaking to her high school principal and even the mayor of Danville, they learned not much could be done since there was no law in Danville against cyber bullying.

This helped to develop her Miss Kentucky platform, "Preventing Cyberbullying".

"I want to win the Miss Kentucky crown because it would get me on that level with the state to get the law started," Ramos said.

In 2011, Stephanie competed in her first pageant, the National American Miss Pageant, and won the title of 2011 National American Miss Kentucky Teen Queen.

This February, she was crowned Miss Lexington.

Ramos travels to elementary and middle schools in the Danville area to raise awareness of bullying. One of the schools she visited was her sister's elementary school.

One of seven children, Ramos is close to her siblings and is a role model to two of her sisters, Vanessa, 8, and Melanie, 15, who also compete in pageants.

"She is always there for me," Melanie said. "You can say we are pretty close. I never really had a best friend so she is pretty much the closest thing."

With tears in her eyes, Stephanie spoke about what being the first Latina Miss Kentucky would mean to her.

"I hope one day that does happen," she said wiping the tears out of her eyes.

"Ultimately my goal is to continue my platform against cyber bullying, and to hold cyber bullies accountable for their actions."


2013 Miss Kentucky Pageant

What: Thirty-two contestants representing counties throughout Kentucky compete for the official title of Miss Kentucky and the Miss Kentucky Scholarship.

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Singletary Center for the Arts, 405 Rose St.

Tickets: $50 You can purchase tickets by calling 859-257-4929


If you go

Anyssa Roberts: (859) 231-1409. Twitter: @LexGoKy.

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