Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

November 15, 2007

Former Miss Valdosta is Miss Georgia again

VALDOSTA — Former Miss Valdosta/Miss Georgia Amanda Kozak, who rose to second runner-up in the Miss America competition earlier this year, is again Miss Georgia — this time in the Miss USA competition.

Kozak is the first person to ever be Miss Georgia in both the Miss America and the Miss USA competition, according to Miss USA.

The Miss USA competition “has a great opportunity with Amanda,” says Pat Colson, who chaired the Miss Valdosta pageant in fall 2005 when Kozak won the Miss Valdosta competition. “She’s intelligent, beautiful, has a wonderful personality. They are getting the whole package with Amanda.”

Kozak, 23, won the Miss Georgia/Miss USA competition recently in Cartersville where she was one of 59 young women competing to become Miss Georgia. She will compete as Georgia’s representative at the Miss USA competition in 2008, which is scheduled to be televised on NBC. Miss USA is the competition operated by Donald Trump.

As a child, Kozak has recalled in past interviews, she enjoyed pretending to be Miss America. Young Amanda dressed in her mom’s bath robes, wore a pretend crown, carried flowers and acted like Miss America.

“But I never thought as a little girl that I could become Miss America,” Kozak said in past interviews with The Valdosta Daily Times. “I never thought it could actually be a possibility.”

Born Amanda Hank, her mother, Jolene, was in the Air Force as was her stepfather, Kenneth Kozak. Kenneth and Jolene married when Amanda was 8. Kenneth adopted Amanda.

Still, with both parents in the military and often simultaneously deployed, once for a year in Korea, Amanda stayed in the states with family friends. With Jolene writing daily, Amanda always felt loved and supported. There were difficulties but Amanda learned self-reliance.

She also wished for closer support during these difficult times. This memory led her to become an advocate for the Big Brothers-Big Sisters program.

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