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The new Miss Hampton holds up her violin
Original photo by Sara Avery
Culture

Profile: The 63rd Miss Hampton

Our home by the sea has a new Miss Hampton and despite her small five foot frame, her presence is enough to fill a room. Christian Peterson is a graduating senior, business management major from Columbia, SC. I spoke with the new queen about her experiences at Hampton and what winning the crown means to her.

Who is Christian Peterson?

I’m southern at heart. Being brought up within South Carolina, you inherit the southern hospitality and that shapes you into treating people with kindness. In my free time, my favorite thing to do is eat. I love to try new food, especially if they’re from different cultures. My favorite artist is probably Whitney Houston, but I love all types of music. Especially artists who are very technical and take their time. My favorite movie is Princess and the Frog and my favorite show at the moment is This is Us.

What have your other three years at Hampton been like?

Not many people know this, but I really had a tough time transitioning into college my freshman year which prompted me to begin my platform the REAAL program. My sophomore and junior years were about me discovering who I was and the things I wanted to accomplish, and it became important to me to decide what kind of legacy I want to leave behind.

In both of the pageants you’ve been in, you’ve played the violin. Is being a violinist a big part of who you are?

Absolutely. I’ve been playing violin for gosh, what’s 21-7, that’s how long I’ve been playing violin. It’s been something that’s been a part of my life. Playing the violin has taught me a lot of discipline and a lot of patience. A lot of people don’t know that sometimes, especially when you reach a certain level, playing an instrument becomes a second job. So, it became a great way for me to practice time management skills and balancing responsibilities. It gave me a determined spirit and taught me not to quit. A lot of times when you’ve been doing something for so long, you have to be reminded why you continue to do it. The Hampton University Chamber Orchestra (HUCO) also played a big role in my experience. My freshman year, I was one of the youngest members and the older members always supported me, guided me, and were kind to me. That made me comfortable with being so far from home. Orchestra is really a family.

What inspired you to do the Miss Hampton Pageant?

It wasn’t one singular thing that inspired me to do the pageant. Growing up, my sister was the one who did pageants, and she introduced me to the pageant world. At first, it was something that I really admired, but I never pictured myself being in them. Then, once I toured campus my junior year of high school, I knew I wanted to be a part of Hampton. I knew I wanted to represent the campus in a way that people have never seen before. Last year, a friend of mine, Faith McKie, was the queen at Claflin and I found it admirable how she was able to represent the school where people really loved her and took notice to the school and how much she loved it. I hope to do the same thing at Hampton.

What is the REAAL platform?

The platform actually came to me in a dream. I know that sounds crazy, but one day I just had a dream where I was helping kids with their college experience, but they were still in high school. It dawned on me that I could use some of the experiences I had and some of the experiences my friends had to help the next generation. It’s mission is to enhance leadership skills because I feel like everyone has the ability to be a leader even if it’s untapped potential, to cultivate excellence in whatever you decide to do, and prepare students for college and the workforce. I realized that when I went to high school, a lot of the students there weren’t necessarily going to college. 

Can you walk me through what you were feeling when you won?

Initially, I was so shocked. It was one of those moments, where you’re so surprised you don’t really know how to react. Then once it set in, I literally started screaming and crying. My phone was buzzing, me and my mom were embracing each other. My sister was trying to answer all of the phone calls. Overall, it was such an amazing experience. To this day, it’s just so unbelievable and really a dream come true.

This school year is a little different. If we don’t end up going back to campus in the spring, how will you carry out the rest of your reign?

Technology has made communicating a lot easier. If we are unable to go back on campus, I feel like I would still carry the reign that will reach Hampton and people in the Hampton Roads community because technology is a way for us to stay connected, despite being separated.

You’re going to have a lot of little girls looking up to you. What is your message to them?

Love who you are. You can’t choose what you look like and people are always going to wish that they’re appearance is different. It’s just important to love who you are and realize you have a quality in you that no one else has and the world needs to see that quality.

What’s your message to the future Miss Hampton’s and those who may be afraid of going for the crown?

Ever since I got to Hampton, I made the decision that if there was ever something I wanted to do, I was gonna go for it. My advice for anyone who is wanting to be Miss Hampton, whatever you aspire to do, whatever you aspire to be, go for it. You never want to live life regretting any decisions you didn’t make.

Sara Avery

Hampton U '20

Sara Avery is a third year journalism major, political science minor from Raleigh, NC. She aspires to be an investigative reporter or producer, with an emphasis in politics and social justice. She is also a photographer and you can check out some of her work by clicking the IG logo below.
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