Hello friends old and new! On July 25th I experienced the privilege of being crowned Miss Teen International® 2009. Thank you all for your love and support as no winner stands alone in their victory. This year I will represent the International Dyslexia Association. My mission is to work alongside the IDA to promote early awareness, better teacher training, more effective computer technology, and necessary funding so that every child can reach their true potential.
I am often asked why I chose to represent the platform of dyslexia during my reign as Miss Teen International®. The answer is simple: I didn't choose dyslexia, dyslexia chose me. I feel that it is my duty to be a role model and the voice for the 45 million dyslexic people across the world that have suffered in silence for far too long. I was once told that I would never read well or attend college. Today, I am a college student with a 4.0 grade point average and am proof that dyslexia has absolutely nothing to do with lack of intelligence. The fact of the matter is, that with proper support and intervention, dyslexia can be overcome.
I also have a love for mission work and volunteerism. My experiences have ranged from working with orphans in Mexico, aborigines in the Australia Outback, Nicaraguan refugees, to at risk youth right here in my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. These experiences have opened my eyes to the enormous need that exists both within the United States as well as abroad which is why I was also chosen to represent the Ugive Organization to help design and promote meaningful and relevant service activities for high school youth. The key message that we want to get across is to find something that you have a talent in, passion for, or an interest about, and just get involved. I did and it has changed my life. Check out Ugive and find the right fit for you!
A few things that you might not know about me are that I absolutely love to eat chocolate, enjoy horseback riding, am a regular volunteer at the SPCA, love to watch good movies, and have always been interested in exercise and nutrition. I have a wonderful and supportive family who has been a constant source of love and strength for me. I will continue to reinforce just how important it is for parents to always have faith in their children and the critical importance of focusing on a child's strength instead of their weakness. Self confidence is the key to a successful life dyslexic or otherwise!
Please join me in my journey this year as I travel across the United States as well as to countries such as India, the Czech Republic, Brasil, Latvia, Germany, Kuwait and many more. I will carry each of you in my heart and do my absolute best to represent both the title of Miss Teen International® as well as the worldwide dyslexic community with pride and dignity. I hope you will tune in to learn more about the Ohio Dyslexia Bill that I will be promoting in Washington, D.C. this October and please take a moment to sign my online petition to show that Ohio supports early screening and better teacher training to prevent our children with challenges from falling through the cracks.
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