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Emily Faith Kelso will represent Lawrence County in the statewide Junior Miss Scholarship Program.

Lawrence County’s
Emily Faith Kelso

By Patrice Stewart· 340-2446

Emily Faith Kelso won Lawrence County’s “Be Your Best Self” award, along with the title of Lawrence County Junior Miss.

And that’s exactly what the East Lawrence High School senior hopes to do in Montgomery this week: be her best self.

Kelso said getting ready for the state program and 10 days of rehearsals, dinners and other activities leading up to the Saturday finals has been a challenge.

The daughter of Steve and Cindy Kelso of Hillsboro has spent hours shopping for suits for appearances in Montgomery and getting her evening gowns fitted for the talent and self-expression categories. She’s been practicing for the physical fitness routine, too, but Capri pants and jeans are the rule for that and the opening number.

Kelso plans to bring a touch of Italy to the stage in Montgomery when she sings the Italian aria “O Mio Babbino Caro,” so she’s been rehearsing that.

“It’s very dramatic,” Kelso said. “I picked it because it’s fun to sing, and I get to act with it. It’s not the type song I usually do, so that makes it more enjoyable for me to perform.”

She typically sings something more down-to-earth at her church, New Hope Baptist. She took vocal lessons for four years with Gary McKenzie of La Bella Voca in Decatur and also performed at school beauty walks, the Morgan County Junior Miss Program and other events.

Kelso is in the Beta Club, among the top 10 in her class, an East Lawrence High Ambassador, member of the yearbook staff and secretary of the Leo Club.

Unlike some seniors, she doesn’t have to worry too much about her college education right now.

That’s because she plans to use the four-year scholarship to The University of North Alabama that she won with her Junior Miss title.

She wants to study elementary education to become a teacher like her mom.

Kelso is looking forward to getting to know young women from around the state during the week, but she also knows she’ll miss her family and friends.

“That’s the hardest part — being away from everybody I’m close to,” she said, with phone and e-mail contact cut off for a week. “But I’m looking forward to it, and just getting to participate in this week will be an experience. I know the memories will always stay with me.”

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