SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) — Reigning Miss USA, Elle Smith, visited Lincoln Elementary School on Friday to speak with students about education, her life and her path to success.

Smith is a Springfield native and attended Snowhill Elementary and Roosevelt Middle Schools in the Springfield City School District, before graduating from Shawnee High School.

“It is so important that we show our kids that they have the potential to be anything they want to be,” said SCSD Communications Specialist, Jenna Leinasars.

“Elle is a real-world example of someone who came from the same community that our students did and, because of her hard work and dedication, found incredible success on a national stage. We are grateful to have such a positive role model for our kids to look up to. A big thanks to Lincoln’s Mrs. Wendy Ford for coordinating this special visit.”

During her time with the fifth and sixth grade students, Smith shared that her success and fame began with her love of education and knowledge, encouraging them to follow her example.

Students also had time to ask Smith questions and take pictures with her.