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‘The Influencer’ – Hannah Grau
February 23, 2023
Student by day and pageant girl by night — this may sound like the plot to a disney channel movie – but to senior Hannah Grau, this is just her day-to-day routine. Hannah Grau has competed in pageants for years, racking up a myriad of medals, trophies, and titles. And though Grau takes pride in her successes, she simply enjoys the rush while sitting in hair and makeup or walking down the runway.
Grau is not a newcomer to pagents and has been participating in pageants since she was a child. “I started out in pageants when I was really young and it was just something my mom had put me in. It was really fun for both of us. We got to travel and do things together,” Grau said.
She continued competing until she decided to take a break near the beginning of her middle school years, and became slightly less invested in the activity participating in less competitions. Throughout middle school, Grau resparked her love for pageants and competed in smaller pageants occasionally.
“I just loved getting dressed up and doing fun things,” Grau said. And eventually that love pushed her to become more and more active in pageants.
But in addition to the glam and glitz that came along with pageantry, Grau has met a great deal of people and made a handful of friends.
“I’ve met a lot of amazing people through pageantry so that’s been really awesome… It’s really cool to see all the amazing things all of these girls are doing,” Grau reminisced.
Even though Grau has been crowned Miss Virginia Teen, her greatest accomplishment lies within her service in her community. Grau founded a nonprofit called Bracelets for Grace and has raised over $16,000 for childhood cancer. Furthermore, not only has Grau helped those in need medically, but those who have served in the military.
“My dad is in the military, so I’ve done a lot of work in the military community and over his last deployment… my mom and I made a bunch of masks, over 1,000, and we donated them to essential workers,” Grau said. To her pageantry means so much more than a good runway walk.
As for now, Grau is taking a break from pageantry and focusing on her four year college education, but she looks forward to continuing her philanthropy and serving her community.
“I’m sort of closing this chapter, but not fully,” Grau said after reflecting on her pageantry career.
I’ve met a lot of amazing people through pageantry so that’s been really awesome… It’s really cool to see all the amazing things all of these girls are doing.
— Hannah Grau