Kaitlyn Tanner, 16, has been named Miss Georgia Teen Volunteer at the Miss Georgia Volunteer pageant this past weekend in Atlanta. The pageant is held annually to "empower young women" while giving them scholarship opportunities in the pageantry world.
Kaitlyn, adopted by her family at birth, has advocated for adoption awareness for the last several years. Tanner stated that being adopted as a baby after being born seven weeks premature changed her life. "My parents tell me how many things had to fall perfectly into place for our lives to come together. My arrival into this world was about seven weeks early, taking everyone by surprise, and if not for my adoptive family coming to my rescue in the middle of the night, who knows where I might be now," Tanner shared.
The Miss Georgia Teen Volunteer winner has also organized many fundraisers to help support families interested in adoption, has spoken to many groups on and during Adoption Awareness Month, and created a website where she sells a Puravida bracelet to raise funds to help support the cause. She also played a vital role in the city's decision to designate November 26 as National Adoption Awareness Day.
Kaitlyn's website emphasizes the importance of supplying families with resources to help children and parents, both biological and adoptive.
Over the last several years, Kaitlyn has competed in "more pageants than she can count," winning titles including Miss Peach State Junior Teen, Miss International City's Outstanding Teen, Miss Hahira Honeybee, and more. As a topic she is passionate about, Kaitlyn qualified for Miss Georgia Teen Volunteer with the platform of Adoption: Building Families. The subject is something Kaitlyn said she "looks forward to representing" in the state with her newest title.
For the talent category, Kaitlyn performed "The Third Movement of Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven on the piano, another talent she possesses and has been pursuing since she was three years old.
Kaitlyn will start her junior year at Citizens Christian Academy next month and is an active member of the school's Leo Club, Key Club, and Literary Club. She also competes on the school's basketball, tennis and track team.
The pageant is hosted annually by an Atlanta nonprofit organization service-oriented program that "seeks to empower young women through education and opportunity." The pageant is also a provider of scholarships for young women in Georgia, with Kaitlyn awarded a $5,000 scholarship for winning the title. Each entrant competed in four phases of preliminary competition, including fitness and wellness (25%), talent (25%), evening gown (25%), and an eight-minute interview with the panel of judges (25%). During the final scoring of the pageant, all contestants compete again in fitness and wellness, talent, evening gown, and job readiness (25%).
As the 2023 Miss Georgia Teen Volunteer, Kaitlyn will also represent Georgia as an ambassador for the spirit of volunteerism, be a spokesperson for the Miss Georgia Volunteer Pageant, and "will gain through the rich personal experience of meeting and associating with many exciting people from Georgia." In July 2023, Kaitlyn will also represent the state of Georgia in the 2023 National Pageant in Jackson, Tennessee.
"I am overjoyed to be able to use this title to spread adoption awareness by furthering my adoption platform while also representing the great state of Georgia!" Kaitlyn told DouglasNow.
For anyone who would like to learn more about Kaitlyn's journey about her adoption platform, or would like to purchase a bracelet/make a donation, visit https://optionadoption.wixsite.com/buildingfamilies.
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