The Miss Virginia for America organization recently crowned a new titleholder to represent the Commonwealth in South Hill. Courtney Phillips, of Arlington, was selected by a panel of judges in the categories of Interview, Swimsuit and Evening Gown.
Special guest Miss America Kassie Perkins, the national titleholder, crowned Phillips on stage alongside the reigning Mrs. Virginia Lisa Stover. Phillips will go on to compete for the coveted Miss for America title in Las Vegas later this year.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to represent the Commonwealth and this extraordinary organization,” Phillips said. “I’m looking forward to the year ahead and making Virginia proud. We have a lot of work to do in the community due to the ongoing mental health crisis, and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work. I hope to bring increased awareness for mental health and addiction prevention through my platform, Hope for Invisible Wounds.”
Phillips’ platform of mental health awareness can make a large impact on the people of Virginia as more than 19 percent of adults reported having a mental illness last year. Phillips considers herself a mental health warrior. After the loss of her parents and years of childhood abuse, she spent decades working to overcome PTSD and severe anxiety disorder. Now, she finds healing by sharing her story with others through her outreach initiative Hope for Invisible Wounds, which reaches over 6,000 people daily She’s partnered with global organizations to further her message worldwide, been featured in a documentary and advocated at the United Nations General Assembly.
Her win this week will help amplify her efforts this year, which will focus on empowering people to find new ways to thrive during these difficult times and continue to address the stigma around mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders. This includes focusing on those high-risk populations most heavily affected by the current climate – i.e. youth, essential workers, the elderly and minorities. As well as those dealing with mental health impacts in unhealthy ways by turning to substance abuse in times.
“We are so excited to have Courtney as our new titleholder,” said Darla Cline, Miss Virginia for America Director. “I have no doubt she is going to make a huge impact on our communities across Virginia and I’m looking forward to working with her over the next year.”
Phillips won a prize package from small business sponsorships across the state to help prepare her for the year ahead as well as a trip to compete against 51 other women in Las Vegas later this year for the title of Miss for America 2021.
- Submitted by Esther Yun, PR Director