A lot of girls wish to be a princess, a queen, to be in pageants or to hold the title of Miss Kentucky or Miss America.

After all, who could blame them? These are all big dreams that girls deserve to have, or at least to have the chance to try to be any of these.

For girls who take part in pageants, the hard work pays off for those who claim one of these coveted titles. It can take years of very hard work and expense with dresses, makeup and travel needed to compete in these competitive events.

So whenever a Miss Kentucky Teen is named from our area, it is certainly worth recognizing them and applauding them for earning this prestigious title.

Mattie Barker, 17, a junior at Greenwood High School, was recently named Miss Kentucky Teen USA. After spending several days practicing and competing against 45 other girls, Barker was chosen to wear the crown.

It is a huge deal, to say the least, to have beaten out 45 other girls who we also believe put their hearts and souls into the competition.

Barker’s Miss Kentucky Teen duties include appearances with the current Miss Kentucky, Lexie Iles, and visiting elementary schools and Boys and Girls Clubs as well.

The story of how Barker became interested in pageants is probably similar to how a lot of other girls in our state and nation get involved in pageants.

Barker’s first memory of pageants was in the third grade. “Miss Kentucky came to our school, and I thought I wanted to be her, so it is cool to be able to compete in Miss Teen USA now,” she said.

Barker’s pageant career began two years ago, when she competed in a local Calendar Girl Pageant, which landed her in the Miss Kentucky Teen Pageant for the first time.

This has to be a very exciting time for Barker and her family, who must be extremely proud of her for winning this huge honor.

Congratulations, Mattie, on this well-earned title and crown.

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