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Many girls dream of growing up to become Miss America. For Eastern Kentucky University student Rose Pidgorodetska, that dream may become a reality.

The Mt. Sterling native was crowned Miss EKU on Saturday, Feb. 25, at Madison Central High School, as part of the Miss Richmond pageant, a preliminary to Miss Kentucky and Miss America.

This marks the first year that the event has been held since the 1980s, but it was not Pidgorodetska’s first experience in the pageant world. The EKU junior has been competing in pageants since the seventh grade, when she had to convince her father to let her enter by providing 10 reasons why she wanted to compete.

She obviously succeeded, and has since participated in over 20 such events, ranging from county fairs to traveling pageants.

To earn the title of Miss EKU, which included a $3,000 scholarship, Pidgorodetska completed an interview with local judges from the Richmond community and answered on-stage questions about current events.

There was also a talent portion, in which Pidgorodetska sang Jessie J’s “Flashlight” and of course, the traditional evening wear and swimwear competitions. To prepare for the latter, she trained in a gym for three hours a day for two weeks beforehand, and kept to a strict diet.

Pidgorodetska will be competing for the title of Miss Kentucky on July 1 at the Singletary Center for the Arts in Lexington. The winner of that competition will advance to the nationally broadcast Miss America pageant in September.

Miss EKU is ecstatic about the opportunity. “To go to Miss Kentucky has been a dream of mine since I started my pageant career years ago,” said Pidgorodetska, who grew up watching the Miss America pageant each year, looking to the contestants as role models. “I want to have the same opportunity to be a role model to young women and girls and show them that they have value and potential to empower themselves as well as those around them.”

Along with pageants, Pidgorodetska is involved in many groups on campus, including Student Alumni Ambassadors, Chamber Colonels Executive Council and Christian Student Fellowship. She also serves as a NOVA peer mentor and vice president of events for the Public Relations Student Society of America.

After she graduates with a bachelor’s degree in public relations in Spring 2018, Pidgorodetska plans to continue growing her business, Simply Rose and Company. She serves as the founder and CEO of the jewelry company, which she started out of her residence hall room in February 2016 and has since expanded.

Pidgorodetska looks forward to what the future holds for her professional and pageant careers. When she first came to EKU, her mindset was focused on having a plan and not deviating from it, but she has since learned to “let go and enjoy the moments life has to offer me right now.” 

— by Yasmin White, Student Writer, EKU Communications and Brand Management