Miss Tennessee Caty Davis is a Karns High School and University of Tennessee graduate. She was crowned Miss Tennessee last June, and competed in the Miss America Pageant where she placed in the top 12.
Since being crowned Miss Tennessee, Davis has made it a priority to fight the opioid epidemic and attack addiction. Her platform is personal for her.
"I have three generations of addiction seen in my family and there are 12 family members that are struggling or have struggled with addiction in the past," Davis said.
Her platform is attacking addiction by prevention, recovery and restoring families.
RELATED: Miss Chattanooga speaks to fight addiction
"Addiction is affecting everyone whether you are the addict, or a child of an addict or friend a teacher, it’s everyone," she said.
Caty knows the process and cycle of addiction all too well.
"I’ve seen it. I see what it does to a person. Their mind. The family. The people around them," she said.
Growing up, Caty said her father was an addict.
"My dad was in jail, out of jail, out of rehab and I really wish he had taken the time for himself," she added.
Caty’s father took his own life three-and-a-half years ago after fighting addiction. She lost her half brother too, after he ended his own life five and half years ago.
"My dad, my brother had all the good intentions and they tried and tried but eventually it was the addiction that took them," Davis said.
The loss weighs on Caty’s heart but it’s also propelling her forward to help others dealing with the same darkness.
"The little girl that felt alone and rejected by her dad, she’s still there and still grieving his loss now and grieving his loss when he was still alive. I think she’s a huge motivation for me because that’s the kids I’m speaking to because I’m still that little girl who feels self conscious about herself," Caty explained.
Miss Tennessee Caty Davis
She now takes her experience to students all over Tennessee by sharing her story at three to five schools a day. She has also raised more than $40,000 to help attack addiction in the state.
"I share the good and the bad," Caty said with a smile. "It’s not as glamorous and it’s not the fairytale life that everyone would imagine."
Caty said she will continue the fight against addiction even after she crowns the next Miss Tennessee.