Kyle Hornback has been competing in pageants since she was 11 years old. Years later, this Louisville girl is the current Miss Kentucky USA ®, who is finishing out her reign advocating for the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky, going to school to finish her degree and planning her wedding. She’s also discovered that “when you wear a crown and sash, people listen,” and she has used this as a way to promote peace and racial harmony in a partnership with the Muhammad Ali Center. We welcome Kyle Hornback as our FACE of Louisville this week.
Now that you are Miss Kentucky USA®, what will you do for the remainder of your reign?
The rest of my year will consist of several appearances and opportunities for me to serve Louisville and the state of Kentucky. I have attended various fundraisers and town hall meetings. I have spoken to students at elementary schools about the importance of education and goal setting. I recently judged the “Gorgeous Grandma” pageant at the Masonic Homes of Louisville where residents had the opportunity to strut their stuff and feel like beauty queens. I look forward to continuing my service throughout the remainder of my reign and beyond.
What causes are important to you? How can you use your time to further those causes?
I have always been passionate about brain injury awareness and prevention as my oldest brother Zack suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2005. I have long since been an ambassador for the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky and enjoy sharing such an important message. When you wear a crown and sash, people listen. I have used my time as Miss Kentucky USA® to bring attention to issues that I believe need to be addressed. I have begun advocating for racial harmony because of a conviction I felt after recent racially motivated events that have taken place in our country. I recently partnered with the Muhammad Ali Center where I held a peace rally in which local leaders discussed what we as a community can do to embrace our differences along racial and cultural lines, but also accept and respect each other regardless of skin color, religion, or native language.
What’s next for you personally and professionally?
I actually just recently got engaged to the man of my dreams! We plan to get married around May of 2018 (he will be finishing medical school around the same time I graduate). I also plan to go to law school after I finish my undergraduate degree and pursue a career as an attorney.
What was your favorite part about competing in pageants? Least favorite?
I love interviews with judges! This portion of competition (although nerve-wracking) has prepared me for the professional world and taught me a lot about myself. My least favorite thing is the commonly held stereotypes that I have had to contest about society’s perspective of girls that compete in pageants.
What would you tell a young girl wanting to compete in pageants at a national level like you?
Go for it! Don’t feel intimidated that you don’t have experience; rather, bring something fresh to the table that judges haven’t seen before. Talk to girls that have competed and be open to advice and constructive criticism.
Give us a peek at your agenda. What’s a typical day or week like for you?
I have class at the University of Louisville Monday through Friday and I work Wednesday through Saturday, so I try to find time to squeeze in things like going to the gym and studying for exams during the week. On Tuesdays, I have student council meetings. After church on Sunday mornings, I go back to campus for mock trial practice. Saturdays tend to be the day that I devote to most Miss Kentucky USA® duties. There’s never a day that I don’t have something on my schedule, so I’m forced to have great time management skills.
What advice do you treasure?
Dare to stand before those you fear and speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.
Fill in the blank. You’ll never see me without my:
Where can we find you hanging out around town?
Hilltop Tavern is my absolute favorite hole-in-the-wall, and my fiancé and I frequent it at least once a week (we are addicted to their Carolina mustard sauce). I love walking Bardstown Road and checking out shops with a popsicle from Steel City Pops in hand. You can also catch me at Cherokee Park with my puppy Luna from time to time.
Favorite thing to do in Louisville:
I know it’s cliché, but anything that involves Churchill Downs. The place itself is filled with culture that is unmatched anywhere else in the world. There’s something about the spirit in the air when horses are racing on that track … it’s electric.
Night owl or early bird? What do you do during that quiet time?
I’m definitely a night owl. I can’t remember the last time I went to bed before 1 a.m. In my quiet time, I like to watch Netflix or take Luna on a walk or to the dog park.
Tell us some of your favorite local restaurants.
The Falafel House is the best authentic Mediterranean restaurant in Louisville, hands down. Mine and my dad’s go-to spot for father-daughter dates is Varanese. I also really love Dragon King’s Daughter for the food and 8Up for the atmosphere.
What’s on your personal reading list right now?
I’m actually working my way through the New Testament right now as I committed to doing so at the start of this past summer. My fiancé swears that The Alchemist changed his life, so hopefully I’ll get around to that sometime soon too.
Lightning round! Give us your:
Candy or junk food splurge: Twizzlers Filled Twists (the yellow and red kind)
Guilty pleasure song: “My Church” by Marren Morris
Tearjerker movie pick: Up
Standby nail polish color: Sally Hansen Birthday Suit
Cartoon alter-ego: Eliza Thornberry
What are three of your favorite things right now?
My engagement ring, matte lipstick and Spotify’s alternative R&B playlist.
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