NEW YORK (AP) _ The 6-year-old girl who led off the coast-to-coast Hands Across America human chain received a modeling contract earlier this month and already has auditioned for commercials, her representatives and published reports said today.

Amy Sherwood, who lived with her mother, Jean, and two siblings in a shelter and a welfare hotel until several weeks ago, has been under contract to the Kronick and Kelly agency for two weeks, her mother told the Daily News.

''We met her four weeks ago and have been working with her,'' agency spokeswoman Lucy Silver said today. ''We're doing it for her, not for us.''

She said Amy auditioned for two modeling jobs before the nationwide link- up.

''I love the cameras,'' said Amy. ''It's fun with the lights and all the people. I want to be a star.''

Amy had a taste of stardom on Sunday when cameras and reporters surrounded her in the first position of the Hands Across America chain in Battery Park.

Ken Kragen, producer of the nationwide event to raise money for the hungry and homeless of America, called Amy and her family ''perfect representatives of the kind of people we want to help.''

Amy came to the organizers' notice when she appeared among a group of poor youngsters in a promotional video for the event.

Mrs. Sherwood said Amy has auditioned for a paper towel commercial and that the agency said movie and theater parts also could come the child's way.

Amy, her mother, three brothers and two sisters were evicted from their home in Far Rockaway after her father walked out in April 1985.

Mrs. Sherwood boarded three of the children with her sister and moved into a shelter in Brooklyn with Amy and two others. They slept on benches and warded off rats and roaches for several weeks, then were moved into a Manhattan welfare hotel.

After about a year, they found a three-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn that they could afford while receiving public assistance of $343 every two weeks.

Amy commutes by subway to a public school in lower Manhattan, where she is in kindergarten and her brother Omar, 7, is in second grade.