Victoria Huggins made a stop in Sampson County Sunday morning as part of her journey to Atlantic City, N.J. in September as she competes for the title of Miss America. Along the way, Huggins plans to continue traveling around the state and serving as an ambassador for all North Carolinians.
In late June, Huggins was crowned as the 2017 Miss North Carolina. Representing Sampson County as Miss Greater Sampson County, Huggins competed against 43 other contestants and has since been spending her days preparing for the Miss America competition, just one month away.
The newly crowned queen was a special guest at Roseboro First Baptist Church Sunday, where she shared her testimony through words and song. Huggins also shared the children’s sermon prior to her vocal message.
“My journey so far, has been nothing short of extraordinary,” Huggins said as she began sharing with the congregation full of family and friends. “Since June, I have already put over 6,000 miles on my car from traveling across the state, sharing my story and passion to share Alzheimer’s disease and awareness.”
Huggins attempted the Miss North Carolina title five times — thus encouraging everyone to never give up on their dreams just because they face a few no’s along the way.
“Blessings come in so many sizes, shapes and forms,” Huggins said before she sang one musical selection about mercies in disguise. “It took me four no’s to get my final yes. But, I’m pretty sure it all happened in God’s time.”
Huggins said she has known since she was seven years old that she wanted to be an advocate for Alzheimer’s disease. Today, with Alzheimer’s as her platform, Huggins is fighting for a cure. She also wants to see music therapy used in nursing homes as a treatment method for patients with Alzheimer’s.
“I pray that everywhere I go, people will see the light of the world in me,” Huggins added.
A native of St. Pauls, Huggins was currently residing in Wilmington, working as the TV morning show producer and reporter for WECT in Wilmington. She earned her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and mass communications from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, graduating cum laude and a member of the chancellor and dean’s lists.
At graduation, Huggins said she was debt free, having earned enough scholarships through pageants to pay for her college tuition. Now working towards obtaining her master’s degree from John Hopkins University, she has $56,000 in scholarships to help work towards this goal.
Huggins has competed for the title of Miss North Carolina the last four years, competing as Miss Fayetteville, Miss Central Carolina, Miss Great Southeastern, Miss Wilmington and Miss Greater Sampson County.
According to Angela Martin, executive director for Miss Greater Sampson County, Huggins won a Kraft Macaroni and Cheese contest at eight years old and earned a $10,000 scholarship and her face on one million boxes of macaroni and cheese.
Her vocal talents allowed her to be a featured vocalist at the Alabama Theater in Myrtle Beach and she placed in the top 100 on American Idol as a teenager. Her talent in this year’s pageant awarded her with the Talent Preliminary award, for the fourth time.
“To know Victoria is to love Victoria,” Martin said as she introduced Huggins Sunday morning. “She is truly the epitome of a Christian lady. She is so humble, genuine, kind, sweet and smart.”
Huggins won the Dana Reason Quality of Life Service Award for her work with Alzheimer’s. This is the second time she has won this honor. Additionally she has won the Miracle Maker Award four times in previous competition. This is the contestant who raises the most money for the Children’s Miracle Network, Miss America’s primary service organization.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.