Miss Kentucky Jessica Casebolt has high expectations for herself in the Miss America Competition. When asked about her future plans, she quipped, “After my reign as Miss America, I’m looking forward to returning to Georgetown College and completing my degree.”
The 19-year-old from Pikeville will be one of more than 50 young women vying for the crown Jan. 12 at the Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas (and broadcast live on ABC). “Heather French Henry [Miss America 2000] is designing my gown, and it’s simply amazing,” said Jessica, one of Samuel and Carol Casebolt’s two children. Her brother, Austin, just 13 months younger, is a freshman at the University of Pikeville. “He’s my biggest supporter, and we’re the best of friends.”
Crowned Miss Kentucky in July, Jessica, whose platform is heart health awareness, has toured the state, visited with schoolchildren and, as with previous Miss Kentuckys, serves as the spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Kentucky Proud program. “It’s certainly tested my multitasking skills,” she said. “I’ve been super busy, but it’s been a great experience.”
From the mountains of eastern Kentucky, Miss Kentucky counts Bowling Green as the farthest west she had been in the Commonwealth prior to her reign. “I couldn’t believe how flat, but still beautiful, some parts of the state, such as Webster and Hopkins Counties, actually are,” she said.
She enjoys speaking to younger children, but the highlight of her travels was actually in a youth detention center for girls. “I was nervous, but they asked a million questions and were so excited to see me,” she said. “It was clear once you got to know them that many of them were simply victims of circumstance without a leg to stand on.”
A political science major with a minor in English, Jessica plans to study abroad, go to law school and become an attorney.