The winner of the Mrs. Universe pageant, Victoria Petersen, wants every child to know that they are valuable and loved by God.
Aleteia recently highlighted Petersen’s inspiring story after she spent time in foster care as a teenager, became a star athlete and, today, serves as an advocate for unborn babies and children in foster care.
Petersen gave God the glory when she won her title earlier this summer. “Glory be to God forever and ever. Amen,” she wrote on Facebook after winning Mrs. Universe.
Her journey to the pageant stage, however, was not easy. According to the report, Petersen spent time in foster care from age 12 until she aged out at 18. As a teenager, she was determined to overcome the struggles she faced.
“I got really good grades, and I was dedicated to academics and athletics. I wanted to learn more, and knew if I was athletic I couldn’t get involved in substances. I had seen how drugs and alcohol negatively affected families. The use of drugs and alcohol became adverse when I thought about having my own family,” she told Live Action News.
One of her coaches, Scott Wichman, encouraged her, and she eventually won state track titles in Ohio, according to Aleteia.
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Now married with a family of her own, Petersen shares her story to help people understand the value and potential in every human being. She has worked with Students for Life in the past, and her sponsor for the Mrs. Universe pageant, America’s Kids Belong, is an organization that helps foster children find permanent families before they age out of the system.
“My mom always said when she saw me with my hands resting beneath my head as a baby on the ultrasound, she knew she loved me and would give birth to me,” she shared with Students for Life. “To say that growing up in the foster care system was adverse seems like an understatement. But 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.”
“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,” Petersen continued.
She also runs her own organization, Bring Beloved, to help every child in foster care understand their “identity as a beloved child of God” and to offer practical support to foster children and their communities.
“My hope is that my message compels people to serve the orphan and the widow, and foster youth are inspired to know who they are and Whose they are,” she shared online in July.
More than anything else, Petersen said she said she wants to praise God with her life.
“My heart is that God be mightily glorified,” she said.