By Kendall Patterson
In the Mrs. Tennessee Volunteer pageant this past weekend, Chester County’s own Katie Hodges placed as third runner-up.
This was Hodges’ third time competing in the pageant of 36 contestants.
After placing in the Top 12 her first two years, she recalled being in “pure shock” the moment she found out she got in the top five this year.
“I couldn’t even believe I made it into the top five. I was really just shocked and honored, and very excited to have made it that far,” she stated.
She explained that she competes in pageants so that she can be the big sister to younger girls who do not have big sisters because a big sister is someone she did not have growing up.
She loves this particular pageant organization because they are about empowering young women.
“I have really loved being a part of the Miss Tennessee Volunteer Pageant the last few years. They have really done amazing work giving scholarships to women,” Hodges said. “I’m so blessed to be a part of an organization that’s all about empowering young women.”
Hodges has won over $13,000 in scholarships and $2,000 in cash for ad sales through her years of being a part of Miss Tennessee Volunteer. She received $4,000 this year.
For her platform in the pageant, Hodges advocates for SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions).
“When I was 13, my childhood best friend lost her sister due to texting and driving and ever since then, I’ve had a passion for sharing the dangers of texting and driving, and I found SADD.”
In fact, she is now the Tennessee ambassador of SADD. She talks to others about distracted driving, personal health and safety.
Her parents Linda and Chris Hodges said that they were so happy for her.
“We were absolutely ecstatic and surprised,” Linda Hodges said. “Since she won top 12 the first two times, our goal was to improve and do better, so third runner-up is just so unbelievable and we’re so proud of her.”
“We’re very happy about how things went this week,” Chris said.
Katie Hodges is a rising senior at Freed-Hardeman University and is studying Public Relations with a minor in Marketing. She graduated from Chester County High School in 2018.