Smith, 23, is a reporter for WHAS-TV, the ABC affiliate in Louisville. She graduated from the University of Kentucky in May 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and a minor in political science.
As Miss USA, Smith will move on to compete in the 2021 Miss Universe pageant on Dec. 12 in Eilat, Israel.
At Monday’s pageant, which was televised by the A&E Network’s FYI channel, Smith was crowned by Miss USA 2020, Asya Branch. Smith bested 50 other contestants.
Miss North Dakota USA, Caitlyn Vogel, was the runner-up at the pageant on Monday. Miss Florida USA, Ashley Bareto, came in third. Miss Illinois USA, Sydni Bennett, took fourth place.
Smith begins a yearlong reign as Miss USA, with Los Angeles as her base. “For the duration of her reign, she will be engaged in red carpet experiences, networking opportunities, professional photo shoots, speaking engagements and more,” the Miss USA website says. “She will also have the opportunity to promote her personal platform alongside the charitable alliances of the Miss USA Organization.”
Here’s Smith’s biographical statement for Miss USA:
“I see being a journalist in America today as an honor, and a role I take very seriously because it is such an essential part of our society. Each day is different and challenging, but I have the opportunity to connect with my community and share new perspectives.
“In my free time, I enjoy traveling, trying new restaurants and attempting to cook. I would consider myself a creative, having grown up surrounded by all forms of the arts. My father is a photographer, so I love all things photography, videography and modeling (hello future career). My mother is a classically trained pianist, so I played viola, piano and sang. Music has been an integral part of my family life thanks to my late grandmother who sadly passed away in 2015 due to cervical cancer. She inspired me to advocate for cervical cancer awareness and prevention, a mission I will continue as Miss USA.”
If Smith becomes Miss Universe, she’ll cede the Miss USA title to the first runner-up.