Volunteer Virginia firefighter on her way to compete in Miss USA: ‘Perseverance is key’

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(Video: Fox News)

In a rare instance of good news coming out of Loudoun Co. Virginia, Marymount University nursing student and volunteer firefighter and EMT, Kailee Horvath, was crowned Miss Virginia USA 2022 at the state pageant on Saturday.

The 23-year-old joined Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” to tell of her experience and what she hopes to accomplish going forward.

“I was honestly very shocked,” she said of winning the crown.

“I was so excited to finally have the opportunity to represent Virginia.”

(Video: NBC4 Washington)

“I was just super grateful that years and years of hard work finally paid off,” Horvath said.

Horvath has volunteered at the Ashburn Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department since she was a 17-year-old senior in high school. Her father, Capt. Julius Horvath, is a 20-year veteran paramedic in the department and her brother is also a firefighter.

“At the end of my junior year of high school, I came here and did a ride along with my older brother,” Horvath recalled. “I kind of fell in love with it.” She added her decision was a “leap of faith” and that she expected the demands to be the same for her as they are for anyone hoping to become a firefighter.

“Anyone who doesn’t know, when it comes to the fire service, females have to do the exact same thing as the men,” she said.

The pageant winner is also a certified fitness instructor and medical assistant, which prompted host Ainsley Earhardt to ask how she manages such a busy lifestyle with so many obligations and aspirations.

“You make time for things that are important to you,” she said. “Perseverance is key. You make the time, and you work hard for the things that you want in the world.”

Horvath told Earhardt that vying for the title of Miss Virginia and winning it has inspired her to use her local fame as a means of educating her community and the state of Virginia on the value and specifics of emergency preparedness.

Her family, friends, and firefighting colleagues could not be prouder of the young phenom.

“We were very proud of her. I mean, it was awesome,” Ashburn Fire Chief Bill Graham said. “All of a sudden, Facebook just blew up.”

Her father believes her success in the Miss Virginia pageant was more than just an acknowledgment of her external beauty.

“It’s about having compassion and sympathy, empathy, and not being fake, and that is what the word ‘beauty’ means,” he said. “It isn’t just the external piece.”

“It’s truly been amazing to have the support of all of them,” the new Miss Virginia said.

The location and date of the 2022 Miss USA pageant has yet to be determined. If Horvath wins there, she will continue on to the Miss Universe pageant.


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