Growing up I watched my Dad smoke 1-2 packs of cigarettes a day. At a young age, I was educated on the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke but never thought this horrible addiction would change my life forever. The summer after 5th grade, at 11 years old, my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. For months I not only watched my father struggle while going through cancer treatments, but I also watched my family struggle every day not knowing which day would be his last. At the age of twelve, the man I called Daddy for so many years became my guardian angel.
Now as a local titleholder in the Miss America Organization, I am an advocate for putting an end to nicotine addiction. I focus on educating our youth on the dangers of smoking and vaping. By bringing a presentation that is both entertaining and educational to elementary and middle schools, I am able to bring awareness to the dangers of smoking and vaping before the habit starts. To help share my story, I am accompanied by my partner, smoking Dragon, Dewey. Together we are able to both entertain and educate youth with either a classroom or assembly style presentation.
Smoking and vaping are a nationwide issue that is preventable among youth if they are educated on the dangers of tobacco and vape products.By sharing my knowledge on smoking and sharing my personal story with others, I intend to make a difference by bringing awareness to the dangers of having a nicotine addiction. For many, this is a matter of life and death, and for me, it represents paying tribute to a person who meant the world to me.