I received this in email and really hadn’t seen this in other blogs. So, I offer it here, unaltered:
Dear MAOTeen friends,
I know that many of you are wondering about the future of MAOTeen in light of the recent issues reported in the media concerning the Miss America Organization. I honestly do not know how this is going to affect MAOTeen, but the MAOTeen Board of Directors are committed to safeguarding this organization.
Today, I want to focus on this incredible program that began 13 years ago as an idea that would help our big sister, Miss America. Realizing that we were adding a new program with more work to make it successful, I still marvel that so many embraced this new idea and at the success that we have been able to acquire.
Along the way, there have been a few roadblocks, but we have always worked our way through every obstacle, thinking about the teens and parents who have benefitted so tremendously through this program.
I am thinking about the volunteers across this country who give so freely of their time and resources. These people deserve our applause, respect, and a million heartfelt “thank you’s”. I am thinking about our sponsors and college partners who have seen the value of the young women who participate in the well-being of their own communities and world. I am thinking of the parents who nurture in their daughters this desire to be outstanding young women, and I am thinking of each teen (many now adults with families of their own) who joined our MAOTeen family and brought such energy and passion in their participation. ALL of our former winners and the current titleholder are outstanding young women who are exemplary of what this is all about! There are literally thousands of young women across this country who can say they are a part of this family and I am proud of each of them!
A benchmark of this organization has always been respect, in word and deed. Without respect, it is impossible to build a program that honors the accomplishments of the teens who put their trust in our leadership. We must respect everyone who participates in this organization and we must honor every person, male or female, who believes in the mission of MAOTeen, Inc. Without respect, this organization would not and cannot survive.
In the age of internet communication, our words have the power to build up and destroy. The internet has added a layer of judgement and control that we do not fully understand. There are no secrets anymore. My husband has often said that he uses his phone as if it is tapped and the internet as if his words were being read to his wife and children. Wise advice from a very wise man.
My friends, as we travel the journey of the next few weeks and beyond, I hope we will all remember our individual gifts that we have so freely given to the Miss America and Miss America’s Outstanding Teen organizations. The sum of these very special gifts has formed the basis for a program that has few equals. Let us be proud of what we have ALL built and let us respect and love each other as we work to save these valuable programs for future generations.
Blessings for a beautiful holiday season,
In kindness and respect,
Chairman of the Board
Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, Inc.