Kaitlin Brucal will only be a 4th grade student at Williamson PK-8 when the 2019-2020 school year begins later in August.
Irrespective of her young age, right now Kaitlin believes she wants to help people with physical medical issues by becoming a physical therapist like her mother, Grace, and her father, EJ.
What career path she ultimately chooses isn’t too important in her current life because presently she simply wants to bask in the knowledge that she just won the 2019 “Miss Earth USA/Little Miss West Virginia Pageant,” held May 25 in Charleston.
By being declared the West Virginia winner in her age division, in August she will compete for the Miss Earth USA title in Washington, D.C.
Although Kaitlin was at first somewhat reluctant to enter the West Virginia competition, Grace said her daughter’s friendship with last year’s winner—Charleston resident Chrystal Saphire Embol who in July is competing in the International Miss Earth Pageant in Las Vegas—was just the little nudge she needed to be a first-time competitor.
“It was her first competition and in the beginning she wasn’t sure if she wanted to do it,” Grace said. “But she got a little encouragement from Crystal and that’s what convinced her to try.”
The fact that there is an underlying good cause for the pageant, one that Kaitlin believes is worthy of everyone’s attention and even deference, also had something to do with her gaining her nerve and entering her inaugural contest.
According to the Miss Earth USA website, the pageant “provides a platform for America’s women to be a voice for environmental responsibility while featuring (the contestants) for a cause in fashion, media and leadership opportunities.”
One of her responsibilities as holder of the West Virginia title, Grace explained, is to perform different types of community service work.
“Just this past weekend she participated in the Memorial Day parade in Williamson, and next month she also will help man a water stop in the Hatfield McCoy Marathon,” Grace said. “So she seems to be taking it all very seriously.”
As another way to demonstrate her commitment to help bring about awareness while simultaneously actually preserving the environment, also in August Kaitlin will be participating in her mother’s fashion show which will feature recycled clothes.
“I guess I was inspired by my friend and what the pageant is all about and that kind of helped me get over being afraid,” Kaitlin said. “Right now I’m really not that nervous about the national competition and I think I won’t be when it actually happens because I’ve already done one, at least I hope so.”
As for competing in future, less nobly inspired pageants, pretty much like her final career choice Kaitlin said she’s leaving her options open. Aside from her mother and father, she will discuss these options with her sister, Kristine, a Belfry High School junior, and brother, Ethan, a seventh grade student at Williamson PK-8, and ultimately make a decision.
“When I won this pageant, I was pretty sure I wanted to be in others,” she said. “But right now I’m not sure.
“If I get another chance to be in one, I guess I’ll talk to my family about it and then decide.”