Through a collaboration between Crossroads programs Crown CARES and Miss American Teenager, the reigning titleholders will serve as the "Official" National Ambassadors for Crossroads' Crown CARES (Creating a Respectful Environment in Schools and Unite Against Bullying ME programs) through their year of service. CROSSROADS Crown CARES, Creating A Respectful Environment in Schools/Society© program is specifically designed to create awareness of positive character education, enhance and improve social awareness, while aiding in the ending to the epidemic of bullying and harassment in schools. The program cultivates a safe environment and teaches leadership skills to develop respectful social responsibility in school-age children, youth, teens and society in general. The Crown CARES© information taught is researched based and is modeled after Crossroads Unite Against Bullying ME Program©.
Social awareness is defined in the program as understanding how one reacts to different social situations, how to interact with all people to accomplish positive results and to promote ongoing development of these social skills. The author and Crossroads believes that if everyone demonstrates respect, self-respect and mutual respect, that the symptoms of bullying, harassment, discrimination, intimidation, use of force, coercion, threats and abuse would diminish.
You Are Enough (YAE) is a campaign that fosters strong self-esteem. It’s focus is for participants to realize that they do not have to fit into the mold or images they see depicted in the media but instead it encourages individuals that they are enough as they are and to embrace their uniqueness because it’s through these diverse backgrounds and characteristics that create true inclusion. The campaign includes social media videos and posts that encourage its viewers daily in addition to monthly personal discussion sessions with its founder, 2017 Miss District of Columbia American Teenager Preteen Jade Ridout, on current topics of interest facing society.
Since 2013, Miss American Teenager delegates have made pillow cases to support Ryan's Case for Smiles.
When asked why their work matters this is the response given:
"A hospital stay can be a terrifying experience for a child- especially those with cancer and other life-changing illnesses. Recent research indicates 20% of children who are hospitalized with cancer and 30% of their mothers suffer full symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD). These rates are comparable to that experiences by U.S. War Veterans serving since the Vietnam War. The good news is trauma can be minimized and outcomes improved through experiences that reduce stress.
Ryan's Cases for Smiles (formerly ConKerr Cancer) was founded in 2007 to bring comfort and support to young patients and their families in hospitals around the globe. We started with a simple goal: to create and distribute whimsical pillowcases that give children an emotional boost and remind them that they are not defined by their illness. Today, our programs have expanded to include the children's entire families so they can better navigate and cope with a difficult experience and avoid long term emotional trauma."
On April 28, 2022 our National Executive Director's nephew passed and, in his memory, she decided to include O's Cool Bike as a Miss American Teenager Pageant service initiative.
Why O's Cool Bike was created and how we support it:
"Quick to smile. Quick to love. Quick to learn. Owen was an amazing young boy that captivated everyone he met. He loved the outdoors, especially going for rides on his “cool” bike with his daddy, Onick. Owen received his first bike, a balance bike, for his first Christmas at only two months old. By the time he was 17 months old, he was riding his balance bike. Just a week before his passing, he was so comfortable on his bike that his daddy was running behind to keep up as he would pick up his feet to glide along and go as fast as he could. It is without doubt that he would have been riding a regular bike before he turned three.
Soon after the unexpected passing of Owen, we knew that we needed to share Owen’s love of bike riding with other young children and allow him to ride on forever through them. With that thought in mind, O’s Cool Bike Foundation became a reality and will help us to serve our community through several philanthropic endeavors.
O’s Cool Bike Foundation will serve as the host to the annual Owen Wayne Lewis Memorial Bike ride held yearly at the end of April. The funds raised through the memorial ride will be used to help us supply the bikes to be donated to nearby Head Start programs. Additionally, the ride will assist in endowing the Owen Wayne Lewis Memorial Scholarship at Troy University. His scholarship will be awarded yearly to a student that is majoring in social work, human services, hospitality, tourism or event management and is also a first-generation college student. ."
The Miss American Teenager Pageant understands the great impact giving back to one's community can have so our mission is to encourage and support our delegates as they serve their communities. With this in mind, our organization completed the program requirements to be an official Presidential Volunteer Service Award certifying organization. Annually eligible award recipients will be celebrated at the American Teen Awards™.
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