GLOVERSVILLE - Katelynn Smith entered the Miss Fulton County Scholarship Pageant for the first time in 2011, and though she didn't win any awards that year, she didn't give up.
Last year, Smith finished as the third runner-up in the pageant.
And as her third pageant came to a close Saturday night, Smith found this time was the charm - she was crowned Miss Fulton County 2013.
Katelynn Smith of Broadalbin is crowned Miss Fulton County 2013 on Saturday night by Miss Fulton County 2012 Colleen Gagne at Gloversville Middle School. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)
"This has been a dream of mine," she said. "I want to be Miss New York, and I want to be Miss America. This is the first step toward getting there. This is my third year competing, and I've worked so hard to get here. I can't believe this is actually happening."
Smith, a Broadalbin-Perth graduate and a junior at the College of Saint Rose, was awarded a $4,000 scholarship to support her studies in communications and public relations.
During Saturday night's competition, she impressed the judges and audience with a clogging routine to the Black Eyed Peas' hit "Let's Get It Started," a performance that earned her the talent award, which provides another $250 prize.
In the interviewing segment of the pageant, she weighed in on immigration policy, saying the United States should continue to welcome foreign citizens into the country as long as they don't have a criminal record, "so they can come here and get the education they need."
Smith said the Miss Fulton County organization helps develop well-rounded women in the community, and as Miss Fulton County, she will give back to the community.
"Fulton County is great," Smith said. "It has so many businesses and organizations that really support this organization, so Miss Fulton County needs to make sure that she's doing the best to represent [the county] as well," she said. "I'm going to be out in the community ... doing everything I can to leave a big [impression] behind."
Colleen Gagne, the Miss Fulton County title holder in both 2008 and 2012, had participated in the last two pageants with Smith, and said she couldn't imagine a better Miss Fulton County than Smith.
"She is so dedicated and determined to serve the community, and I think she's going to be an excellent Miss Fulton County," Gagne said. "She can expect to put a lot of time into being Miss Fulton County, and she can expect to grow and learn a lot over the next year and become stronger than she could ever imagine."
First runner-up honors went to former Miss Fulton County 2009 Courtney Sheridan for the second year in a row. Sheridan also won the interview award. She is a graduate of Fort Plain High School and was awarded a $2,000 scholarship for being first runner-up and $250 for the interview award.
Danielle Trumbull, a Mayfield High School graduate, earned the second runner-up honor, which provides a $1,000 scholarship.
Misty-Lynn Hilts of Gloversville was awarded the Miss Congeniality honor.