Playing harp since she was 7 years old and singing her entire life, Victoria Valentine always did both separately.
But for the 2014 Miss Montana pageant, Valentine decided to combine her talents and sang “Danny Boy” while playing harp. The rendition of the song was one factor that led Valentine to be crowned Miss Montana in Glendive on June 14.
Valentine ran on the platform “Read it and Reap,” which promotes reading among children.
“Taking time and reading with children is something that is really important,” Valentine said. “If you take the time to bond with children and see eye to eye with them, it can affect them positively.”
Valentine, 22, is a graduate of Biola University and wants to go to graduate school to become a physician assistant.
She said wants to pursue that career because of a history of family health problems and that the need for the position is increasing.
“Physicians are spending less and less time with patients,” Valentine said. “It’s up to PA’s to do more of that work.”
For winning the competition, Valentine received a $5,000 scholarship, which she will put toward graduate school. She also won other categories, including the talent and interview portions, for which she received almost $2,000 more.
Now Valentine will travel to different schools throughout the state to promote her platform.
Women from around the state were able to apply to compete in the pageant. Valentine applied because she said she enjoys connecting with people.
Valentine works and lives in Missoula, but will be busy over the next year before she plans to go to graduate school in the fall of 2015.
“It’s still setting in,” Valentine said. “Being Miss Montana is kind of like a full-time job, with touring and everything. I am a planner, and I know I have a big year ahead of me.”