Hey folks, for those of you new to the site, this is little Q&A session we like to call “Spilling the Tea.” Here with us this week is reigning Miss Kentucky Katie Bouchard of Owensboro, whose platform is “Being the Voice For Kentucky’s Children.” You can also check out our other Q&As with KYREADS founder Allison Slone and Kentucky Teacher of the Year Jessica Dueñas. Enjoy!
Garris: Hey Katie, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us! Your personal platform as Miss Kentucky is “Being The Voice For Kentucky’s Children,” which is a pretty great platform if you ask me. Why do think Kentucky’s children need a voice?
Katie: In Kentucky there are many students that are struggling from a difficult home life which is causing them not to be able to focus on their education. Kentucky children need someone to be able to advocate for them in order for there to be a difference made. For myself, I have been able to volunteer as an intern in many different school systems which has shown me the different needs here in Kentucky. Children need a voice because they are future and we must take care of them. I love being able to use my voice to advocate for at risk children and to be able to educate others about the family resource centers available in our school systems.
Garris: That’s awesome. Speaking of family resource/youth service centers (FRYSC), you’ve been an incredible advocate for the work that they do in Kentucky schools. What got you interested or inspired you to take up that cause?
Katie: When I was in high school and trying to choose a college major, I knew deep down that I wanted a career where I could make a difference. I chose to get my bachelors in social work because there were so many opportunities within the field. I have always grown up in the educational system because my mother is a teacher and have always known about FRYSC. For the past five years I have either intern or volunteered in local schools. With this experience I have been able to learn what basic needs and experiences kids are struggling with. Just through that experience I have fallen in love with the program and I want to be able to use my voice and my skills to be able to make a difference in the lives of our children. Sometimes there are things that I take for granted in life and then think about these sweet children that are struggling with much worse situations. This right here makes me want to make a difference.
Garris: That’s incredible. I’m sure as Miss Kentucky, you obviously visit a lot of schools around the Commonwealth. How crazy does it feel to realize that your platform allows you to make a real impact in the lives of Kentucky children?
Katie: The best part about my job is getting to meet new kids each and every day. I love getting to go into schools and being able to make an impact. Every school is different and every experience is different. But every school I have been able to take something away from or every school has taught me something. This job has taught me so much and has truly prepared me for life. My favorite part about this job is getting to hear stories from kids right here in Kentucky. You never know what they are going through so I try to make sure to make an impact on every single child. It’s going to be hard in a couple short months when I have to give this job up. It truly is the best job in the world.
Garris: Finally, what are your plans for life after Miss Kentucky? Do you think you will still continue to advocate for Kentucky’s children?
Katie: Of course I plan on continuing to support Kentucky’s children and advocating for them. Kentucky’s children are our future and we have to take care of them. We all can make a difference somehow in the lives of our children. After giving up my crown is Miss Kentucky in June I plan on continuing my education and getting my Masters in social work related field. I also plan on finding a big girl job with in the social work field. I’m hoping that I will land a family resource center job here in the state of Kentucky so I can continue to make a difference.
I think some lucky school would thrilled for that to happen. Keep on making a difference, Katie!