By Erika Neldner
Doors are opening for Reinhardt University vocal performance major Victoria Hill as she starts her journey as 2019 Miss Georgia.
Hill, who competed as Miss Capital City, was crowned Miss Georgia June 15 at the 75th Miss Georgia Scholarship Competition in Columbus. Not only did Hill win the crown, she also won the preliminary competition and preliminary talent, as well as overall talent, overall interview and overall onstage question. In addition, she entered an essay contest about community service judged by the Miss America organization and won the Miss America Community Service Award.
All come with a total of $19,000 in scholarship money.
“Victoria Hill embodies Reinhardt’s core values of faith, learning and leading. God has given her an amazing voice and a huge heart for service and learning, and we will be supporting her cause, ‘Flip the Script on Foster Care,’” said Reinhardt President Kina S. Mallard. “The entire Reinhardt community will cheer her on as she serves as Miss Georgia and competes for the Miss America title.”
Brian Osborne, music director for opera and musical theatre and one of Hill’s mentors, helped her prepare for the scholarship competition.
“She has made sure every detail was done with style while always staying true to her passions, her singing, her artistry, her desire to be a role model and her commitment to kids in need,” Osborne said. “Her dedication to the foster system has opened my eyes to a real need in our state and community. She is truly an inspiration to me.”
Hill called her win “surreal,” and said she is excited to hit the ground running, using the platform to advocate for children in Georgia’s foster care system.
In true Victoria fashion, the humble yet talented 20-year-old didn’t think of herself when she won the crown. Instead, she thought of all the doors the opportunity would open for her to fight for Georgia’s foster children.
“Her work in the foster care system is one of the causes close to her heart. She loves the girls at the North Georgia Angel House so dearly, and I’ve witnessed how their feelings for her are mutual,” said Dr. Reverie Berger, assistant professor of music at Reinhardt and Hill’s vocal teacher for more than six years.
Foster care is near and dear to Hill and her family – two of her uncles were adopted out of the foster care system. “I can’t imagine my life without them,” she said.
Hill volunteers her time at North Georgia Angel House in Waleska, working with the girls from all over the state who, as Hill said, “have come from bad situations through no fault of their own.” She established her “W.I.N.G.S.” mentorship program to give girls guidance as they age out of the foster care system. W.I.N.G.S., which stands for Women in Need Growing Stronger, seeks out community mentors, giving these girls someone to lean on and seek guidance from as they get older.
Residents of the North Georgia Angel House also have the opportunity to see their mentor and other Reinhardt students perform on stage during School of Performing Arts productions.
“Reinhardt has allowed them to come for free to the operas and the musicals. They love it so much,” Hill said. “To be able to show them this aspect of life, music, the stage and theatre, it’s so awesome. Through the University, I’m able to provide them a break and give them joy.”
The next year as Miss Georgia 2019 will be spent not only advocating for children in the foster care system but also speaking about the Miss America organization and its national partner, Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, and preparing for Miss America 2020.
With her plate full as Miss Georgia, Hill is taking a year off from her education and said she will return to Reinhardt next year to complete her bachelor’s degree in vocal performance. She said she is thankful for all of the support Reinhardt has given her over the years. She began as a dual enrollment student while finishing her homeschool curriculum. It has been the supportive faculty, staff and overall environment that has helped her thrive. Hill learns differently than others due to dyslexia and has been able to maintain a nearly 4.0 GPA while participating in University musical theatre and opera productions, as well as the Reinhardt Chorale.
“I’m really thriving, and I’m able to thrive and succeed at Reinhardt because of faculty and staff and because we are such a close-knit family,” Hill said.
After completing her Reinhardt education, Hill hopes to immediately go into graduate school at The Juilliard School, University of Michigan, Oklahoma City University or The Curtis Institute with dreams of becoming a professional opera singer. Her dream is to move to Europe and perform abroad.
Hill is available for speaking engagements over the next 12 months. For more information, email MissGeorgia2019@gmail.com.