The “2019 Tennessee Fairest of the Fair Sweetheart” is a Roane State student who has her eyes on the skies but her feet firmly planted on the ground.
She’s Kinsley Williams, crowned in a pageant last year in Crossville. The 20-year-old was the runner-up in the annual Anderson County Fairest of the Fair contest, and that finish qualified her for the statewide “Sweetheart” competition, held in Cumberland County.
“I was absolutely ecstatic when I won,” Williams said. “It showed that if you put in the effort and give it your best shot, you can do anything.”
Williams has been fulfilling the “Sweetheart” duties while wearing her ornate crown and bright sash – going to festivals, Christmas parades and other events while also paying tribute to the nation’s veterans.
“I’m all about our military and our veterans,” the Clinton resident said. “My grandfathers were in the Army, one in the Korean conflict and the other in Vietnam – and I want to continue their legacies.” She participated in January in a “Quilts of Valor” event where handmade quilts were given to area veterans.
Williams is on the home stretch of her Roane State education and will graduate this May. After that, the sky is the limit, and she’s weighing two very different goals – pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming a pilot, and obtaining a degree in some aspect of healthcare.
“I just really want to fly, and take that goal off my bucket list.” With that goal in mind, Williams is applying at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, which she says has a “wonderful aviation program.”
Williams was a volunteer licensed emergency medical responder with the Anderson County EMS for three years. “I was able to take my EMR class and received my licensure while I was in a Roane State dual enrollment class in Clinton High School.”
She said she uses that license when she volunteers and has ridden on Anderson County ambulances while helping emergency medical technicians and paramedics give patient care. “I absolutely love my EMS family in Anderson County – they really do care and love this county and are passionate about the community. “ Williams said she’s flown on the UT Lifestar helicopter on emergency calls, and her experiences “really showed me my passion for healthcare.” She said she plans to eventually get a paramedics license “and hopefully a pilot’s license.”
She graduated from Clinton High School in 2018 and transferred to Roane State to complete an associate’s degree in general studies after a stint at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. At Roane State, she’s been tabbed for the college’s student government association.
“I was actually a little nervous when I first got to Roane State,” Williams confided, “but I quickly acclimated. Everyone is pretty laid back here.”
Williams cites Roane State adjunct instructor David Adkins as her favorite instructor. “He knows his stuff, and he has a sense of sarcasm and humor. He also gives phenomenal lectures.’’
Roane State is a two-year college providing transfer programs, career-preparation programs and continuing education. Founded in 1971, the college has locations in Crossville, Harriman, Huntsville, Jamestown, Knoxville, LaFollette, Lenoir City, Oak Ridge, Wartburg and Clinton.
For more information, visit www.roanestate.edu or call (865) 882-4554.
Remember, eligible adults can now attend Roane State tuition-free with the new Reconnect grant. Learn more at www.roanestate.edu/reconnect.