By Krista Bradley
Class, interviews, practice, games, volunteer work: Allie LaForce is busy, but she's hardly fazed. Just two years ago she was balancing high school, charity events, celebrity parties and life with two pageant queens in New York City's Trump Place. Sound like a fairy tale?
LaForce's story does include a crown, but right now she maintains she is the typical college student (with a few pageant dresses in her closet).
A broadcast journalism major in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and a member of the Honors Tutorial College, LaForce's reign as Miss Teen USA 2005 was ending when she entered Ohio University.
To become a contender, LaForce combined her natural poise and personality with what she learned from her Mom, Miss Ohio USA 1977 Lesa (Rummell) LaForce. The daughter surprised herself when she carried the winning tradition to the second generation, first winning in the state, then the nation.
She was the youngest person ever to win Miss Ohio, and her age at the time of her win qualified her for Miss Teen USA.
"I borrowed a dress to wear and went for it. I wasn't expecting to win at all," she said.
And win she did, but it didn't go to her head.
"Even though I won, I knew I wasn't going to change as a person," she said.
Instead, LaForce used the experience to discover her interests. Her first opportunities with public speaking in television and radio appearances sparked her desire to study broadcast journalism.
The combination of Scripps' broadcasting program, athletics and proximity to her hometown of Vermilion, Ohio, led LaForce to pick Ohio over her second-choice college, Northwestern.
"Ohio had a little bit of everything," she said.
A self-described jock, LaForce didn't want to leave behind her background in athletics and, most importantly, her favorite sport -- basketball. Although Ohio University didn't recruit her, she figured she could try out once here. She was invited to join the team as a non-scholarship player after fall 2007 tryouts.
Ultimately, LaForce would like to combine her education and basketball experience to become a sideline reporter or do play-by-play for ESPN.
LaForce's average week involves training for her guard position on the Ohio basketball team, studying and reporting on athletic events for WOUB Radio in addition to remaining active with her charity work and occasional Miss Teen USA endeavors.
And she just finished filming for "Teen Yoga: Featuring Allie LaForce and Kathleen Kastner," a video of basic yoga moves and techniques. LaForce was asked to participate in the film by the Miss Teen USA organization as a positive influence on body image.
But LaForce isn't complaining about her busy schedule.
"Being a former Miss Teen USA, (what I did) was not all just glam and hype," she explained. "I like being active. I'm used to it."