Katie Schreckengast has a full resume – she’s a rising senior at Penn State University, plays the alto saxophone in the Penn State Blue Band, as well as serving as the Public Relations Officer for the organization. To add to this impressive list of activities, Katie was just crowned Miss Pennsylvania 2017 this past June. She began her journey when she was just thirteen years old, winning Miss Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Teen in 2013. This past January, she received her first “Miss” title, winning Miss Central Pennsylvania 2017. In September, she will compete in the Miss America Pageant under a very personal platform – “Building Families Through Adoption.”
Adopted at just six months old from South Korea, Katie now travels the state speaking about her adoption journey. Seen in a social media post on her official Miss Pennsylvania Facebook, Katie posted a heartwarming video about a couple adopting with the quote, “I may not have had them in my belly, but I have them in my heart. #AdoptiveFamily #BuildingFamilies.” Quoted in the Detroit Free Press, Katie added that, “I want to share my story throughout my year just so people understand that just because you’re an adoptive family doesn’t make you any less of a family.” And adoption is just that – another way to build a loving, strong family.
In fact, Katie’s younger brother is also adopted from South Korea. She adds that, “Every single adoption story is different and mine has been so positive and wonderful.” Her family has been incredibly supportive every step of the way. Additionally, when looking back, Miss Pennsylvania 2014 was ALSO adopted! Khari Siegfried, a Temple University graduate, was reunited with her biological family while competing for the Miss America Pageant. The irony of it all being – while promoting a personal platform of adoption, Khari’s own adoption story was unfolding behind the scenes.
It is empowering and heartwarming to hear so many stories of adoption, especially on a national stage. By sharing these stories, adoption becomes just another beautiful way to build a family. Not everyone who finds themselves pregnant is in a position to parent, and, on the other side there are many loving couples and singles who desire to have a family who are unable to traditionally. Katie and Khari’s stories solidify the complexity and joy that encompasses adoption.
Adoptions From The Heart is honored to have Katie in attendance at our First Annual Find Her Footing Sweat-A-Thon. Katie will be joining Zumba, Pound, and Hip Hop instructors to help everyone Break a sweat in support of birth parents just weeks before she makes her way to Atlantic City for the Miss America. The event will be held at the Greater York Center for Dance Education on Sunday, August 20th from 1-4 pm. To learn more about the event and to register, visit our website here. To follow Katie on her amazing journey to Miss America, check out Miss Pennsylvania’s website.