Kate Clatterbuck grew up in Danville after her family moved here in 2005. Shegraduated from Chatham High School in 2018 and went to Roanoke College where she majored in Education Professional Studies. Clatterbuck graduated with my Bachelor of Arts degree in 2022.
In 2021, she joined the Miss Virginia Volunteer organization, a scholarship program for young women focused on service and volunteerism, representing Danville as Miss Danville Volunteer. As Miss Danville Volunteer, Clatterbuck created the PowHERful Voices Initiative to address the gender disparity in our Virginia History Standards of Learning. She spoke with over 400 Danville students about the power of their own stories. Clatterbuck volunteered over 100 hours in the Danville community, partnering with over 15 community organizations.
In August, she was crowned Miss Virginia Volunteer 2023. Now, Clatterbuck will represent not only Danville, but the state of Virginia at the 2023 Miss Volunteer America competition in June 2023.
Clatterbuck took time from her busy schedule to talk with Showcase about her desire to help the community.
Showcase Magazine: How do you define community involvement?
Kate Clatterbuck: For me, community involvement intertwines with volunteerism. In the last two years, I have become more connected with the Danville community by serving alongside outstanding members of our community. From Danville Parks and Recreation with their community-based events to God’s Storehouse’s addressing food insecurity, our community offers many opportunities to get involved and learn more about the needs in our community.
SM: What inspires you to get involved in the community?
KC: After the COVID-19 pandemic, I felt disconnected from the world around me. Discovering the Miss Volunteer America organization and its mission to promote volunteerism, I chose to represent Danville to connect with the community I grew up in and learn more about where I lived. Representing Danville was the greatest choice because as I invested into Danville, Danville invested into me. From the support I received from community members to the partnerships I formed with businesses and organizations, becoming involved in the Danville community was easy, continually pushing me to grow in my understanding of community and volunteerism.
SM: How do you balance life, work, and community involvement?
KC: As I took on more opportunities to get involved in Danville and continued in my education in college, I learned more about the importance of organization. By prioritizing, making to-do lists, and using multiple planners, I was able to take on more responsibilities, while staying in the moment!
SM: What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
KC: “You will get out of something what you are looking for.” If you are looking for the negatives of a situation, you will find the negative. If you are looking for the positives, you will find the positives. These words have kept me focused on the positives in difficult situations, allowing me to put more energy into doing what I love rather than worrying about the negative.
SM: Who are your real-life heroes and why?
KC: Corey Williams, Sheriff Mike Mondul, Julie Brown, Austin Scher, Martha Walker, and so many others are my real-life heroes. While volunteering in Danville, I met so many community members who focused on the good in our community, using their time and energy to give back in small, but important ways. These people continue to inspire me to find the good around me and use my time and energy to give back.
SM: Do you have a favorite quote, and if so, what is it?
KC: “If you can dream it, believe it, and work hard for it, anything is possible”- Roda Ahmed, Mae Among the Stars
This is from my favorite children’s book to read to students. The story of Mae Jemison, the second woman and first African American woman in space, inspires me to dream big as she was dedicated to her own dreams, persevering through every “no” she was told.
SM: How do you recharge? What do you like to do in your free time?
KC: I love spending time with family and friends. I have been a member of West Main Baptist Church since 2005. The family of love I’ve experienced at West Main offers a safe place to rest when life gets crazy.
SM: What is your idea of happiness?
KC: Happiness comes from leaning into life. Whether involving yourself in your community or following your dream career path, putting your whole self into something brings you happiness.
SM: What is it about Danville that makes it special to you?
KC: Danville embodies strength, self-respect, and service. While representing Danville, I met so many community members who worked tirelessly to improve the experiences of others. In April, I started a project to donate 120 books to Danville Public Elementary Libraries about women in our history. When I began the project, I was so worried that I would not be able to manage it financially. Within weeks, I had more than enough help as Danville businesses and organizations jumped at the opportunity to support our students. This is just one example of how our community wrapped me in support while I represented Danville.
SM: What are your favorite things to do in Danville?
KC: I love going to Otterbots games, spending time at 2Witches, taking walks along the Dan River, and spending times in our Danville schools. Our Danville educators are focused on creating better school environments for our students. I have loved every opportunity to witness that. Talking with the Danville Rotary clubs is always a bright light as these men and women are also focused on service and have such amazing stories of impact.
SM: What are you most looking forward to in 2023?
KC: In June, I will compete at Miss Volunteer America, representing Virginia on the national stage. Yet, I feel more honored to know I am representing Danville as the support I had from my community propelled me towards this opportunity!
SM: What are your visions for the future of Danville?
KC: The future of Danville is one of growth. As our community continues to work together and implement change, Danville will become a more connected and even more beautiful community.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.