Davis is a beauty queen, many times over, somewhat of a Future Farmers of America all-star and she's hungry for more. It began with a project Davis started when she was 13.
"I decided that I had a lot to accomplish, I had a lot of aspirations, so I made a bucket list of things I wanted to do," she said.
The Heath High School senior said she had already scratched off most of her list by the end of middle school. She wanted to be a beauty queen. The news came to scoffs and laughter from her brothers. They teased her that she was better suited cleaning a deer or sprinting on the soccer field. She started with the Miss Teen Marshall County pageant because McCracken County didn't have a teen pageant at the time. And she won. She cried, her mom cried and as she went off stage, they told her she was moving on to the state pageant. Things move pretty quickly for Davis.
McKell Davis, daughter of Richard and Deineise Davis, is the Mid-Continent University Teen of the Week. Each Monday, the Sun features a different MCU Teen of the Week selected from nominees who high school guidance counselors throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois submit to the Sun. Mid-Continent University will provide each Teen of the Week with a $2,500 annual scholarship to its university, which is renewable for four years. In the spring, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners and will receive a full four-year scholarship to Mid-Continent University, currently valued at up to $55,000, or a cash reward of $2,500 paid through the Paducah Sun if the student selects another college to attend.
She's always been unique, she said. When she got to high school, she wanted a group that would embrace her for it. Davis found what she needed in FFA. She learned quickly how much she enjoyed agriculture, and what a varied group of students were in the club. She now works at Tractor Supply Company, and she will major in agriculture when she goes to Murray State University in the fall.
Another item on her bucket list will drive her freshman year in college. Davis will run for FFA president for the entire state. If she gets it, she'll have to devote the entirety of her first year in college to her position. After that, she wants to be involved in the Student Government Association as well as Greek life on Murray State's campus. Campus activities will also be balanced with her pursuit to become Miss Kentucky.
Davis laughs at herself a little when she talks about her ultimate goal. She wants to be a motivational speaker. She loves public speaking and gives a speech about something at least once a week. Though she's comfortable serving as a leader for her peers, Davis wants to experience more before she goes on to motivate larger audiences.
"There's wisdom in it, and experiences are timeless," she said. "It's one thing for someone to tell you what it's like, and it's another thing for you to do it."
Life's short, she said. She might only be 18, but Davis is taking every day for all it's worth.
Call Rebecca Feldhaus, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651.