A Winchester teen, Michelle Rodgers, has been named America's Junior Miss 2009. It's the second time in three years that a woman from Kentucky has taken top honors in the national scholastic competition.
After two weeks of activities and three days of competition, Rodgers was named the winner at a ceremony in Mobile, Ala., where the Junior Miss competition is headquartered.
Rogers will receive $52,000 in college scholarship money — $50,000 for winning the competition and $2,000 that she won during the preliminary competition. Rogers plans to attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., in the fall. She plans to major in theater and international studies, according to the Junior Miss Web site.
Rodgers is the daughter of Paul and Karen Rodgers.
The competition included scholarship, talent, interviews and self-expression. For her talent, Rodgers performed Taylor, the Latte Boy, a song by actress Kristen Chenoweth. Rodgers, Kentucky's Junior Miss, beat contestants from 49 other states. More than 5,000 women across the country compete in Junior Miss regional and state competitions each year, Junior Miss officials said.
Rodgers was not available for comment on Sunday.
Taylor Phillips of Versailles was named America's Junior Miss in 2006. Diane Sawyer, host of Good Morning America and a Kentucky native, won the competition in 1963.
Rodgers will be in New York next week for a host of media appearances, including one on Good Morning America, said Cassidy Grimes, a spokeswoman for the Junior Miss competition.
The Junior Miss competition began in 1958 and has given away hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship money for college-bound women.