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Georgia Kiwanian competes for Miss America crown

Julie Saetre | Dec 17, 2019

Victoria HillWhen the Miss America 2020 scholarship competition takes the stage in Connecticut Dec. 19, a Georgia resident will represent her home state and Kiwanis.  

Victoria Hill, a member of the Greater Cherokee Kiwanis Club, will compete as Miss Georgia, a title she won in only her second attempt. And like a true Kiwanian, Hill hopes the national spotlight will allow her to spread the word about the importance of service and her social impact initiative, Flip the Script on Foster Care.

“I want to raise awareness of the needs in the foster care system,” she says. “Right now in Georgia, we have over 14,000 kids in foster care and only about 5,000 homes certified to foster. That’s a huge imbalance, and we need to flip that script and see to it that there are more homes waiting on children, instead of children waiting on homes.”

Hill, who studies vocal performance at Georgia’s Reinhardt University, first learned about Kiwanis in high school, when she performed at an event for donors to a community theater. After hearing her sing, two members of the Greater Cherokee club approached Hill and encouraged her to enter the club’s music scholarship competition. She did and won. But she also discovered that the Kiwanis organization aligned with her family’s commitment to service.

“My siblings and I do international service,” she explains. “We work a lot with youth with special needs. Community service is a huge part of how I was raised. And something my parents always told me, they said ‘Look for needs and try to meet those needs.’ And when I heard about Kiwanis, I was like, ‘Oh my goodness. That’s what my parents have told me my whole life.’”

As a home-schooled student, Hill didn’t have access to a Key Club. So she joined the Greater Cherokee Kiwanis Club. Through the years, her fellow club members have become like family. Now they cheer her on as she competes and help her to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a Kiwanis partner also supported by the Miss America organization.

“They are such a huge support system,” Hill says. “I cannot tell you how much I love my Kiwanis club. They are the sweetest people. I love them with all my heart.”

Georgia Kiwanian competes for Miss America crownThose club members will be rooting for Hill’s continued success on Dec. 19; to date, she already has earned more than $40,000 in scholarships through the Miss America organization and covered the costs of her bachelor’s degree. Any additional scholarships she earns will be applied toward her pursuit of a master’s degree in opera performance. Following that achievement, she’s considering studying for a doctorate in symphonic conducting. She also dreams of moving to Europe and performing in operas in Germany or Italy.

“Opera is a dying art in America right now,” she says. “But in Europe, it’s celebrated in the culture. If I move to Europe and perform in operas, I’m going to try to find and join a Kiwanis club in Europe.”

Watch Hill compete during the live broadcast of the Miss America 2020 scholarship competition on Dec. 19, 8-10 p.m. EST on NBC television stations and NBC.com.

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