Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 17 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Hildegard of Bingen
home iconInspiring Stories
line break icon

Meet the inspiring new pro-life Mrs. Universe who grew up in foster care

VICTORIA PETERSEN

Students for Life | YouTube | Fair Use

Cerith Gardiner - published on 08/16/21

Victoria Petersen is using her title to champion foster care and the pro-life movement.

This year’s Mrs. Universe is a young woman who declared, “Glory be to God forever and ever. Amen,” when she won the coveted title. While it was wonderful to see Victoria Petersen giving praise to God, her pro-life stance and personal experience in the foster care system will no doubt also inspire her fans.

At 15 years of age, Petersen had to make a choice that would shape her life forever. She’d been in foster care since the age of 12, and many people in her situation had become pregnant or gone down the road of substance abuse.

Petersen, however, decided to put her energies into her school work and impressive performances on the track. “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 explained in an interview reported in Live Action.

It was through her faith and help from her coach, Scott Wichman, that Petersen was kept, quite literally, on the right track. She won medals at the Ohio state track championship four times and when she finally aged out of the foster care system, Wichman welcomed her into his own family and gave her his last name.

Thanks to this incredible support and love, Petersen went on to form her own family. She married her husband Scott and became a mom and a foster mom.

Thanks to her own experiences, Petersen, as the new Mrs. Universe, has spoken openly about her life in the foster care system, and how abortion should not be the solution for pregnant moms whose children risk entering the foster care system. In fact, she asks pro-lifers to lend much-needed support to the foster care system, as their desire to help the unborn should manifest in offering love and guidance to vulnerable children in need.

“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,” she pointed out.

Now in her role as Mrs. Universe, the pro-lifer wants to show the importance of choosing life with the backing of her sponsor, America’s Kids Belong, an organization that helps kids find families before they age out of the system.

“[She] shares openly about her traumatic journey through foster care into adulthood. We are thrilled she is using her strength and conviction to fulfill her platform and strong voice in the Foster Care world. Children in foster care have an ally in her and we celebrate her beauty, soul, kindness and drive to make our world a better place for children in foster care!” shared the group on their Facebook page.

The crowning of Petersen is just another positive step for the mom. She’s already been speaking out in support of the foster care system and the pro-life cause, sharing her own moving experiences with a video for Students for Life:

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. 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.

This is just a snippet of Petersen’s positive message, if you’d like to hear more, click on the video below:

Along with her role of Mrs. Universe and mom, Petersen has also founded Bring Beloved, whose “mission is to proclaim and affirm each foster youth’s identity as a beloved child of God” and offers practical support to foster kids and their community.

Tags:
Inspiring storiesPro-life

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
CELEBRITIES
Cerith Gardiner
Our favorite stories of celebrities who inspire us in daily life
2
communion
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
3
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
4
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
5
As irmãs biológicas que se tornaram freiras no instituto Iesu Communio
Francisco Veneto
The 5 biological sisters who joined the religious life in just tw...
6
CROSS
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
7
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.