By Jennifer Hutcheson

She has a pet maltese named Sugar, loves to dance, has a passion for helping those in need and happens to be a Colonel as well as Miss Kentucky.
And with less than a week left at Eastern, sophomore Kindra Clark is spending her time taking final exams and fitting in as much practice as possible.
Clark, a communications major, was crowned Miss Kentucky last year and will travel next week to New Jersey, Nashville, and Princeton, Ky. She will spend the majority of her time practicing and getting ready for portions of the pageant such as the interview, beauty wear, and swim suit competitions.
“I have had great assistance from my director and group of sponsors that take care of my appearance, fitness, walking, talking and the rest of the preparing,” Clark said.
Clark said she has been doing pageants and modeling since the age of 12, competing in a total of 30 pageants and winning about half of those.
She said she believes confidence is the most important thing contestants can gain from pageants.
“I try and compete against myself and just hope that when I walk off that stage, I feel confident and realize that I am already a winner for making it this far,” she said.
Clark will compete with 51 other girls for the Miss USA title in categories such as evening gown, opening dance number, swim suit, interview and the famous on-stage question.
Clark has spent her time as Miss Kentucky volunteering at church shelters and hospitals, as well as spending time with friends and family. Her roommate and best friend, Maria Montgomery, won the title of Miss Kentucky last year and has provided help and support for Clark as she ventures on the same journey.
“She really knows how to cheer me up by doing Zumba classes on campus or dinner dates and movie nights,” Clark said.
Clark said her favorite pageant moment was winning Miss Kentucky.
“Winning Kentucky USA after being sick all weekend and missing all the rehearsals is truly an inspiration,” she said.
While pageants can be nerve-wracking for contestants, Clark said she has her own way to calm down before competitions.
“I always pray before I go out there to keep my nerves down and just hope for the best,” she said.
Clark will compete in the Miss USA competition at 7 p.m. on May 16 in Las Vegas, Nev. The pageant will be aired on NBC.