The newly crowned Mrs. Universe Victoria Petersen also happens to be a passionate advocate for the most vulnerable children in society: unborn babies and children in foster care.
Live Action News reports Petersen spent six years in foster care starting at age 12, and, despite the struggles she faced, she is grateful that her mother chose life.
“… my mom heroically and bravely chose not to eliminate the potential sufferer — me — and because of her choices, I am now a woman who spends her time passionately advocating to eliminate the suffering of those in the womb and in foster care,” she said in a Students for Life video in 2020.
After winning Mrs. Universe this month, Petersen praised God for what He has done in her life.
“Glory be to God forever and ever. Amen,” she wrote July 22 on Facebook.
According to Live Action, Petersen draws strength from her Christian faith as well as the support of people like her high school track coach, Scott Wichman. She said he became a father figure to her when she was a teenager and welcomed her into his family.
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“I didn’t have a lot of decent men in my life, but I had no idea he’d impact my life like he did,” she said. “Scott and his daughters said they wanted me to be a part of their family. I stayed at a lot of places, but for every holiday I came back home.”
She said Wichman even walked her down the aisle when she got married.
Petersen understands better than most how broken the foster care system is. She also believes that there are “no better people” than pro-lifers to help children in need.
“If we genuinely love, we must undoubtedly choose life, not just in our marches and at pregnancy centers but in our backyards, in our homes, and in our foster care system,” she said in 2020.
Petersen works with America’s Kids Belong, which helps foster children find permanent homes before they become adults, according to Live Action News.
“We are thrilled she is using her strength and conviction to fulfill her platform and be a strong voice in the foster care world. Children in foster care have an ally in her, and we celebrate her beauty, soul, kindness and drive to make our world a better place for children in foster care!” the organization responded in a statement.
She also runs her own organization, Bring Beloved, to proclaim and affirm the value of every child in foster care by helping them understand that they are beloved children of God.