Second Chances: Empowering Youth to Rise Above
I believe in second chances! I want to serve as an advocate for teenagers in crisis through my program “Second Chances: Empowering Youth to Rise Above” by emphasizing four main goals:
· Personally mentor youth and encourage others to join me as mentors
· Partner with the national mentoring organization Big Brothers, Big Sisters
· Promote the idea of guiding errant youth through second chances
· Award my “New Beginnings” Scholarship to first-generation freshmen college students
Youth are notorious for making poor decisions, which can result in life-changing consequences many teens aren’t equipped to handle. While mistakes may be inevitable, the effects of an unfortunate choice can often be minimized or even reversed.
A mentor can effectively help a child overcome a mistake and prepare him to benefit from a second chance! Big Brothers, Big Sisters research confirms the power of a mentor as a role model. Compared with students who do not have a mentor, those with a mentor are 46% less likely to use illegal drugs and 52% less likely to skip school. Also, mentored students report they are more confident in their schoolwork, and they get along better with their families.
Through education, motivation, and personal service, I have implemented my platform in 12 cities throughout the state of Arkansas. Speaking to civic clubs, schools, and public assemblies, I have shared my message with more than 900 individuals. My personal experiences of mentoring have inspired every aspect of this platform. During the summer of 2009, I found great joy in serving as a residential mentor to pregnant teenagers at the Promise House. I currently mentor a fourth grade student in the Arkadelphia school district through the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program. I raised funds, advertised, and selected two first-generation college students to each receive my “New Beginnings” Scholarship of $750. I created a blog and frequently update it with inspirational stories, pictures, and platform developments. I am always looking for opportunities to expand my program while promoting the success and growth that come with second chances!
As Miss Arkansas, I will guide the Miss Arkansas Organization in impacting youth through inspiration and empowerment. Although our youth may stumble on mistakes, we must all recognize the power of a mentor and believe in the hope that comes with second chances!
New Beginnings Scholarship Recipients
My little sister, Darlene
Promise House baby