Victoria Hill was crowned Miss America 2020 runner-up. Hill, age 20, won a pair of preliminary awards during the first leg of the competition, and she advanced to the final leg of competition with Camille Schrier. She was ultimately given a scholarship with her second place title.
Read on to learn more about Hill, her education, and her pageant background prior to her being crowned Miss America runner-up 2020. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Hill Attends Is Enrolled at Reinhardt University & Will Graduate with an Opera Degree
Hill is enrolled at Reinhardt University, where she majors in opera performance. She talked about the degree, and the specifics that make her studies, during an interview with the Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News.
“I have to do a lot of studying, because it is not just showing up and singing a song,” Hill explained. “There is so much work that I have to put into studying music, different languages, pronunciation of different languages, syntax and being able to put different breathing techniques into different languages, all while knowing what they mean by the background of the story or opera. Then practicing them, which is super hard, because you have to memorize everything.”
Those who watched Hill during during night 1 of the Miss America competition will not be surprised by her college major. She performed a segment from the French opera “La fille du régiment, which dazzled audiences and allowed her to secure a $2,000 scholarship by coming in first during the talent portion.
Hill has announced that she will be taking a year off from Reinhardt University to fulfill her responsibilities as Miss Georgia, but she plans to resume her studies in 2021.
2. Hill Credits Her Singing Career with Getting Her Into Pageants
Hill has been playing music and performing since she was a child. “I love musical theater too, but I feel opera is really what I want to do as a career,” she told Cherokee Tribune. “There are two different majors: a musical theater major and a vocal performance, which is classical music. I compete in both because I love doing both.”
Hill’s singing was what ultimately led to her discovering pageants. She was encouraged to enter Georgia’s Miss Cobb County pageant after she performed at a local singing competition, and she went on to win the crown. She won Miss Capital City after that, and was then crowned Miss Georgia 2019. The latter crown earned her a $15,000 scholarship and immense notoriety.
Hill talked about the chance encounter, and how important it is to step out of one’s own comfort zone, during a speech at DeSana Middle School. “If I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone, I would never have gotten the chance to have a free college education and the opportunity to advocate for foster care around the country,” she told the students.
3. Hill Works with Organizations That Assist Young Women In the System
In addition to her singing and pageantry, Hill is passionate about helping others. She regularly volunteers for a group called North Georgia Angel House, which provides assistance to women who are in the system and are between the ages of 12 and 21.
“It’s a perfect way for me to make myself more well-rounded and just a successful woman while paying for school,” she explained. “It’s helping me be successful while giving me the tools I need to achieve my educational goals.”
Hill also runs an initiative known as “Flip the Script on Foster Care,” which aims to raise awareness on the number of children currently in the system by getting businesses and organizations involved in their reform.
“Approximately, we have 500 individuals aging out of the foster care program every year in Georgia,” Hill told the Ledger-Inquirer. “and one of my goals is to make sure that within this year those 500 young adults have a connection for life. These young women are absolutely amazing, and precious, and they have such strong grit and perseverance, but they just need a connection in the community so that they can have roots and really grow and be able to expand their dreams and their aspirations.”
4. Hill Voiced Support for the LGBTQ Community During the Miss America Competition
Hill voiced her support for the LGBTQ community and adoption during the Miss America competition. During the final round of questioning, Hill was asked if she though people from the LGBTQ community should be able to adopt, and she was steadfast in her support.
“Everybody needs to adopt,” she insisted. “That is the most important and also the biggest problem in the world that we do not have enough homes that are certified or qualified to be open to foster. We need everybody to open their doors and hearts for everyone in need.”
Hill also spoke out against bullying and trolling on social media. “I think it is really important that people understand the consequences of what they post on social media,” she reasoned. “When I post I use a filter and I make sure that everything is kind, true and necessary. If it is not all three then I don’t post it.”
5. Hill Was Awarded a $25K Scholarship As Miss American Runner-Up 2020
Hill was awarded a $25,000 scholarship as the Miss America runner-up 2020. This is in addition to the $1,000 scholarship she received during the talent portion of the preliminary competition, and the $2,000 scholarship she received during the preliminary on-stage interview.
Hill posted a celebratory message regarding the latter scholarship on her Instagram. “I am so honored to be able to say that I won a preliminary talent award last night at the Miss America competition,” she wrote on December 16. “To say that I am thrilled would be an understatement! This award gave me an ADDITIONAL $2,000 in scholarships!! Thank you so much for all of the amazing support and love! I feel it ALL here in Connecticut!”