It all began in a parking lot.
A little more than a year and a half ago, I competed in Georgia Has Talent, a fundraiser for cancer research, at Cherokee High School. As I was leaving, three women approached me and said that I should consider competing in the Miss Cobb County competition, which is a preliminary for Miss Georgia in the Miss America Scholarship Organization. I smiled politely and thanked them for their kindness. Once in the car with my mother, I laughed out loud and said, “Absolutely not!”
It was something I never really thought I wanted to do, so I went on with my life. About a month later, I received a message from someone on the Miss Cobb County board letting me know that the talent winner would receive $400 in scholarships. I thought it would be foolish not to sing for 90 seconds and at least try to win the $400 talent scholarship. I am studying vocal performance at Reinhardt University with a desire to become a professional opera singer, so I hoped I would have a shot at the award.
I signed up and prepared as best as I knew how for all areas of competition, including donning the first two-piece swimsuit I had ever worn. I knew that the Miss America organization values community service, so I looked forward to the interview process because community service has always been an integral part of my life.
The evening arrived for the Miss Cobb County competition, and, amazingly, I won the talent award, Miss Congeniality, and the title of Miss Cobb County 2018, along with $10,700! To say I was in shock is an understatement. They placed the crown on my head, and I walked off the stage. I had no idea what I was doing.
The next summer, I competed for Miss Georgia as Miss Cobb County and won the swimsuit and talent preliminaries, the overall talent award, and third runner-up to Miss Georgia 2018, receiving an additional $8,500 in scholarship money.
Last September, I decided to compete for the title of Miss Capital City, another Miss Georgia preliminary competition. Thankfully, I won this scholarship competition, which allowed me to compete once more for the title of Miss Georgia.
At the state competition in June, I was thrilled to win the overall interview, talent and onstage question awards, the Miss America Community Service Award, and the title of Miss Georgia 2019, and an additional $19,000 in scholarships. What an incredible blessing this organization has been in my life.
The title of Miss Georgia allows me to compete for Miss America 2020, which will be televised live on NBC from Connecticut on Dec. 19. I am honored to have this job, and I desire to do my best, and give all I have to my hometown of Canton and to my state. So much has been given to me, and I completely understand that I am a product of God’s work in my life, and of the people who have so greatly invested in me.
More important to me than the scholarships and the accolades is the ability to spend a year working on behalf of children in foster care. I am taking this year off from school to focus on my role as Miss Georgia and my commitment to Flip the Script on foster care.
My goals are: 1. Raise awareness of the needs in the foster care system; 2. Engage businesses and organizations to help meet the needs in the foster care system; 3. Encourage mentorship for youth who are aging out of foster care.
Many local businesses and individuals have discovered the roles they can play in the foster care system. My question for you is this: What role will you play?
To book Miss Georgia for an appearance, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
– By Victoria Hill