Miss America Serves: A National Day of Community Service

Miss America Serves: A National Day of Community Service 

Presented by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

Miss America joins state titleholders and volunteers activating 
across the country on May 18th

Atlantic City, NJ - On Saturday, April 18th, Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev will join Miss America state titleholders and volunteers from across the country to participate in Miss America Serves - a national day of community service presented by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. This combined effort will raise funds for member CMN Hospitals while addressing the unique needs of communities across the nation.

Miss America Serves brings together Miss America contestants and volunteers from our state organizations to create service events that address critical needs in their communities. Planned activities include: volunteering at local CMN Hospitals; cleaning up parks, beaches, and neighborhoods; assisting youth and senior organizations; visiting nursing homes; collecting clothes; stocking food pantries; and feeding the homeless.

Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev stated, "It's wonderful that the work that our state titleholders and I performed together last September has expanded to include their own community service projects in their home states with their friends and families across the country, on a single day. Miss America Serves also brings attention to our national platform partner, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, while raising awareness and funds for the local member hospitals and our scholarship program."

Sam Haskell, III, Miss America Organization's Executive Chairman & CEO added, "We are excited to see how this idea from Atlantic City has grown into an incredible national event with hundreds of community service projects across the country, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. As we raise money for state scholarships and CMN Hospitals, Miss America Serves also shows our organization's commitment to volunteerism, and we encourage everyone to get involved by either joining or donating to a Miss America Serves team project in your community."

Miss America Serves stands as a tribute to the services that local CMN Hospitals provide every day. In addition to helping communities through service projects, the donations raised through Miss America Serves will directly benefit the children treated at their local member hospital serving each community, in addition to providing scholarships.

This national community service effort was inspired by Mary Haskell, a former Miss Mississippi and the wife of Sam Haskell, where she led the national contestants in a volunteer effort at the Atlantic City Rescue Mission to work the prep and service lines in the kitchen, to meet with mothers and children living at the Family Life Center, and to assist with the replenishment of the food pantry. 

Since 2007, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals has been the official national platform of the Miss America Organization. To date, nearly $12 million has been raised for both Miss America scholarships and CMN Hospitals. Miss America Serves aims to raise awareness for the 170 member hospitals that treat 10 million kids every year across the U.S. and Canada. To participate or for more information, please visit www.MissAmericaServes.org 

Project Youth: College for a Day

Miss Idaho Falls, Katelyn Strobel, has been busy with her platform. On March 20th she hosted a huge event at her University. “I am the director of a program called Project Youth. I brought 1000 5th and 6th graders from low-income schools to my college campus at Brigham Young University. The elementary students are lead by a student group leader and are taken on a campus tour and STEM presentations given by faculty and clubs. The goal of my program is to encourage these elementary students to reach their full academic potential and to excite them about all the possibilities at the university level. At the end of the day all the kids and volunteers attend a Power Rally with performance groups, keynote speakers, music and slideshows.

With an event this large, it is easy to be distracted by the sheer number of students in front of you. However, my favorite part of my Project Youth events are the small and quiet moments I have with individual children. During this event, I was eating lunch with a boy named Ethan. He told me that this was “the coolest fieldtrip he had ever been on” and that he was excited to “go back to school and work harder in science class” so that he could graduate from college with a “degree in Chemistry and save the world.”

Conversations like that, while simple, are the reasons why I chose to promote higher education as my platform. I believe that everyone is capable of accomplishing great things, sometimes we just need vision and an encouraging voice.

My platform “Go On: Promoting Higher Education”’s purpose is to hold these Project Youth events on college campuses. After my event at BYU, the number of students that have participated in my program REACHED 5000!

My goal before Miss Idaho is to present to 10,000 students! This upcoming month I am putting on “Go On” assemblies at nearly every elementary school in Idaho Falls. Look for me at your local elementary school!!!”

YMCA Make a Splash

Miss Nampa, Audrey Powell, spent March 23rd through the 27th at YMCA Make a Splash. "I spent several hours teaching kids how to swim each morning! The kids ranged from 4-14 and were able to take part in the lessons due to a discounted rate. I appreciated having the privilege to teach kids to swim who otherwise would not have been able to take swimming lessons."

When asked what her best memory was she said, "I taught Jana (one of the cutest and sweetest 6 year olds on the planet) how to swim! On the first day she cried because she was so nervous to blow her bubbles but by the end of the week, she swam 15 yards by herself. This is exactly what my platform is all about."

Audrey walked away with 38 new friends. She loves teaching a lifelong skill. She also wants to remind parents to sign their kids up for lessons at a local pool! You can’t start lessons too soon and it’s never too late!

Third Season of Dancing Queens Launch

Miss Southwestern Idaho, Megan Wilson, is launching her third season of Dancing Queens on April 1st. She said, " Dancing Queens is a self-awareness program for preteen girls where Megan discusses topics like self-esteem, peer pressure, personal wellness, and goal setting while teaching the art of Polynesian dance. This season is held at the Boys and Girls Club of Ada County. The girls will perform at the B&G Club Parent Night later in April." Megan's favorite part about the program is getting to meet the girls she will be mentoring for the next month. Some will be girls she coached in Girls on the Run last fall. 

"I have a personal connection to my platform, At-Risk Prevention: Helping Girls Reach Their Full Potential. Dancing Queens is all about helping girls go into their teen years with a toolkit to avoid risky activities that could hinder their future success."

Miss Amazing

Miss Boise spent Saturday volunteering for another pageant program, "I was lucky enough to spend my Saturday afternoon working with the incredible Idaho Miss Amazing contestants! I got to help them with walking patterns for competition and prep the girls before their interviews. As fun as it was for me to get to spend time with the contestants, and get to know them a little better, I didn't have to do a lot of teaching. These girls were already pageant pros! I was the one that picked up a few tips from THEM to help me on my way to Miss Idaho!"