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pageantry interview ● k. lee graham
Nothing She Can’t
Handle It can be scary for a teen to
move to New York City and
travel the world, but a girl like
Miss Teen USA K. Lee Graham
makes it look way too easy
L istening to her talk, a person could be rather sur-
prised to learn that K. Lee Graham is Miss Teen
USA. That’s because the 18-year-old South Car-
olina native has the intelligence, conﬁdence, and
maturity of someone twice her age, as she looked
the challenges of moving to the Big Apple and becoming
an international icon right in the eye, ﬂashed her trademark
smile, and conquered it all with aplomb. In fact, the only
seemingly youthful thing about this incredible young lady is
the enthusiasm with which she has approached every ap-
pearance and task in her term as Miss Teen USA.
With her year coming to an end, K. Lee has the oppor-
tunity to look ahead and ask herself, “What’s next?” Her
answer? Eventually college, but like most of the Miss Teen
USA winners before her, she can’t wait to hit the beach in
the Bahamas and relax for once. Hearing her describe
everything that she’s accomplished since August 2, 2014,
she’s deﬁnitely earned a little vacation.
Pageantry magazine: What do you remember
most upon hearing your name called as Miss Teen
K. Lee Graham: Actually, I barely remember anything
from that exact moment. It’s just become such a blur. But,
I do remember just thinking, “Make a good face, you don’t
want your pictures to look hilarious.” So, I was like, “Just
keep smiling.” And then I walked back to see all the girls
and at that moment, it really hit me. I saw some of my best
friends down in the front that surrounded me. I think that
was one of the best moments of this year so far, just to see
PHOTO BY CARTER STUDIOS
the support from them and to feel their love.
PM: What are you looking forward to most upon your
return to the Bahamas this year?
KG: This year I’m really excited because I’ll get to go out
and enjoy the beaches a little bit more. We won’t be in re-
hearsals the whole time. I’m excited about that. And my
mom’s going to come with me, so I’m just looking forward
to having a great time, meeting all the girls.
PM: When we ﬁrst spoke, you were looking forward to
ﬁnishing high school and making the big move to New
York. Now that you’re in the Big Apple, what’s a typical
day like for Miss Teen USA?
KG: I was in the New York Film Academy, so I would wake
up, go to class, and have class until maybe 7. And then I
would go home, work out, have a night event. It would be
different every day. I would also visit a lot of schools. I work
in a lot of different charity organizations. Now that I’m on
break, I have a little bit more time to enjoy the city. I love
working out in the parks. I love being able to volunteer with
Best Buddies and Project Sunshine. It’s a different schedule
every single day and that’s what makes it so exciting.