1. She Changed Her Name Because of Her Big Sister: K. Lee is actually short for Katherine Lee. When she was born, her one-year-old sis had trouble pronouncing the brunette’s name, so she simply called her “K.” The cute nickname has stuck ever since!
2. She Has Her Own Blog That Empowers Young Women: K. Lee hopes to encourage other girls to find true beauty on the inside with her blog, Live Beautifully. “[My blog] has become an outlet for me to address and express some of my opinions about issues regarding body image, self-esteem and personal identity that young adults are challenged with every day,” she wrote.
3. She’s Got Beauty and Brains: Miss South Carolina takes her studies very seriously. The high school junior is at the top of her class and loves writing. She is currently working toward attending the University of South Carolina Honors College!
4. She Maintains a Healthy Lifestyle—Even On Her Birthday: K. Lee has been a vegetarian since 2011 and declares kale as her favorite food! She stays in shape with regular workouts consisting of Pilates, resistance training and cardio. Even on her birthday, she posted this Instagram pic of her nutritious meal. “I love cooking healthy, clean foods and working out! Love this Citrus Kale salad from @ToneItUp and my favorite protein pancakes, which were my substitute for actual birthday cake!” she shared.
5. She Loves to Perform: The Southern beauty queen has a passion for theater, dance, singing and acting. She studied drama at the South Carolina Governor’s School and has been involved in local productions since middle school.
6. She Gives Back to the Community: The 17-year-old volunteers every week with her church’s Children’s Ministry and has worked with other organizations like the USO, the American Heart Association and LifeChangers over the past year.