Victoria Hill, 20, of Canton, is this year’s Miss Capital City and one of 29 title holders competing in the Miss Georgia Scholarship Competition this week in Columbus.

Hill, a student in Reinhardt University’s opera program, says several years of performing in singing competitions has helped prepare her for Miss America Organization contests, and that the organization has given her more confidence in her music career.

“I love the energy that’s created in competitions. I thrive in challenging myself,” she said in an interview with the Tribune. “I’m familiar with being under pressure and having to stay graceful and confident, even when the stakes are high and the spotlight is on you and you have to answer a question.”

Two years ago, Hill had never entered a pageant. Now, she’s a second-time Miss Georgia contestant after taking home the top talent award and placing third runner up. She and another Canton resident, Brooke Doss, tied in the swimsuit portion of the contest, which was eliminated from MAO events last year.

While she enjoys participating in the contests and showcasing her talents, she uses competitions to highlight an important cause she cares about: the needs of children and young adults in foster care. She volunteers her time at North Georgia Angel House, a home for girls ages 12-21 that also offers life skills, tutoring and group and individual therapy.

“This competition is important, and the scholarship is a blessing, but I’m doing this for these girls,” she said. “They have so much potential, and they just need someone to believe in them, and encourage them to stay in the system and get all the benefits they can where they are.”

The competition runs Tuesday through Saturday at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts in Columbus. Contestants participated in private interviews with the judges Tuesday. The other events, including talent performances and social impact statements, will be open to ticketholders and available online. For more information, including a live stream of the competition, visit www.missgeorgia.net.

Another local candidate, Kate Klucsarits, is in the running for Miss Georgia Outstanding Teen. Klucsarits, 13, is a rising freshman at River Ridge High School and hopes to become a pediatric nurse after graduation, according to a competition announcement. She’s a senior company member at Steppin’ Out Performing Arts Center and is active in Academy Street Theater Group, having most recently performed in “Newsies.”

Shannon is a reporter covering education, city governments, crime, features, religion and other local news. She is a graduate of Young Harris College and currently lives in unincorporated Woodstock.

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