The Miss America Organization is proud to announce that Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler has been named by STEMconnector.org as one of the Top 100 Women Leaders in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
According to STEMconnector, Laura was chosen based on her efforts to promote "education for young women and her personal platform: mentoring children of incarcerated parents."
"Much of Laura's time is spent encouraging young women to pursue studies in STEM subjects in an effort to bridge the gender gap among an already pressing issue," according to the STEMconnector publication.
"As I look at the statistics and see that 49 percent of female students say that they chose a STEM profession to help make a difference in our world, I become even more passionate about promoting this type of education. Every day I meet children from all walks of life throughout my travels and they share amazing stories about their hopes and dreams. If we can channel those dreams into applied sciences and formal education and an application of their personal interests, then we can foster them into reality rather than simply smiling with pride," Laura says.
This one-of-a-kind publication honors the careers and initiatives of one hundred women in all STEM industries. With this, STEMconnector aims to advance the cause of more girls and women pursuing a STEM career as the United States' economy relies more than ever on a prepared STEM workforce. The publication was presented for the first time at the U.S. News STEM Solutions Summit.
The women included in this tribute share the commitment of taking over the cause and serving as mentors and sponsors of those who are next in the jobs pipeline. In the STEMconnector publication, readers learn the inspiring stories that showcase the traits needed to advance in the STEM world and how women can make a difference.
The publication will feature several key CEOs, presidents, and key public officials, including four U.S. Senators, an EPA/NASA Administrator, and a Deputy Administrator respectively.
One hundred Women Leaders in STEM will also present opinion editorials featuring interesting data on women in STEM. Some of the pieces written include commentary from the Society of Women Engineers; ABT Associates / TERC; Center for Energy Workforce Development; American Association of University Women; Girls, Inc; National Science Foundation; U.S. News and World Report; The American Institute of Architects; Aerospace Industries Association; and Bayer USA Foundation.
Source and photo: MAO
Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler was in Pompano Beach, Florida, June 27 visiting with children from the Champions Sports Camp, organized by Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree ministry, an outreach to incarcerated parents and their children. Erika Harold, Miss America 2003 is a board member of Prison Fellowship and emceed the event. Laura was honored to receive the organization's first-ever Star of Victory Award, for children who have had an incarcerated parent.
"I'm a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason," Laura told the kids. "If you work hard, believe in yourself, dream big, I stand before you to say it really can come true."
The camp is one form of outreach by Angel Tree to children of inmates, including eight thousand in South Florida. It also provides volunteer mentoring and annual Christmas gifts, given on behalf of the incarcerated parent, usually donated through churches.
After her speech, Laura stayed to chat and pose for photos with the kids. She confessed, "I have to put myself on the line every day. I have to make the message hit home, that we're the same. And if my past didn't define me, it doesn't have to define them."
Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler made a stop in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this week, where fourpoints writers and photographers escorted her around the city for the April/May cover story and photo shoot. Laura visited the Grand Rapids Montessori to speak at an assembly for fourth, fifth and sixth grade students, then she spent time with children in the school's afterschool program.
Students in the afterschool LOOP program showed Laura their LEGO projects that they made as part of the STEM–Science, Technology, Engineering and Math–curriculum. The Miss America Organization is focusing on enhancing awareness of educational programs like STEM, especially for girls, this year.
“Miss America, as we know, is a scholarship organization, but it’s also an organization of female empowerment, and an organization that is encouraging young people to become involved in fields related to STEM,” Laura said.
Laura was in Michigan on Tuesday and Wednesday. She flew to New York Wednesday evening.
Don’t miss the next issue of fourpoints magazine with Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler on the cover! Fourpoints is offering a special discount for this issue. Order 5 or more copies, and pay only $3 per issue* Order your extra copies today! Click here and use promo code: LAURA Not a current subscriber? Subscribe today!
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I had the unique pleasure of spending two days with Laura Kaeppeler, Miss America 2012, this week. I'd interviewed her previously on the phone for fourpoints' April/May cover, and I had the sense that we were going to have fun.
For another reporting jobs, I've met and interviewed politicos like Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, and T.V. personalities like Christopher Knight (aka Bobby Brady), but I was particularly looking forward to meeting Laura because even on the phone, I could tell she was just a regular girl with a fantastic story to tell.
What was most remarkable about Laura is despite her extravagant evening gowns, flawless, white bikini wearing figure, and frequent flyer miles, when I was with her, she felt like an old friend. I am a 24 year old gal from the Midwest. She is a 24 year old gal from the Midwest, and although she carries a heavy responsibility on her perfectly postured shoulders, she conducts herself sans grandeur or entitlement. We talked dating, splurging on desserts, favorite musical genres, and (in another life) what tattoos we'd get.
The fact is that she has a story to tell, and a history of hard work that led her to today, just like each one of you, and just like me. That is how I will remember her, not as Miss America 2012, but as Laura, the sea-food loving, her own hair-doing, dog-loving woman with a dream, passion, and a good sense of humor.
Written by: Erika Fifelski joined the Serendipity Media, LLC team in August 2011. Before that she wrote for a daily newspaper in Northeast Michigan. She has a degree in journalism from Michigan State University, and if she had to choose, her platform would involve advocating for urban farming and food sovereignty.
Reality TV star and Miss America 2012 judge Kris Jenner dishes on the swimsuit competition, role models, and more!
fourpoints: How do you feel about the swimsuit competition? Some previous judges have said it is unnecessary part of the pageant.
Kris Jenner: I liked the swimsuit competition. If the contestants had not looked healthy, I might have a problem with it. But you can tell by their hair, their skin–they are healthy!
fpts: Did any of your daughters ever compete in pageants?
KJ: Pageants were not a part of their lives, no. We always watch Miss America as a family. But if one of my girls had come to me and said, I want to do this, I would have said, you bet.
fpts: What were you looking for in a Miss America?
KJ: Definitely a role model. This Miss America pageant is a different game than it was fifty years ago. Today, with all the things that a contestant has to deal with–Facebook, Twitter, all of social media–she has the ability to reach even more people.
fpts: Did anything surprise you about the pageant?
KJ: What did surprise and impress me is the work ethic that all the contestants have. They look at this as a job, not just a beauty pageant, which is something I try to instill in my girls.
To read more of Kris Jenner's responses and other answers from the experts in the field, subscribe to fourpoints magazine!
I don't know what you've been up to today, but this morning I hung out with Kris Jenner—no big deal!
Okay, actually, it was a really big deal! The judges press conference was this morning at 10 AM and I would have to say, it was the best judges press conference I have been to in the 6 (can you believe it?) years that I have been coming to Miss America.
What can I say? Apparently, Lara Spencer and Kris Jenner both wanted to be head judge but, of course, there can only be one. Lara seems like she is just fantastic and really takes the judging process seriously, which I appreciate so much. Other highlights of the press conference include:
*Raul De Molina doing high go-go kicks that Chris Powell taught him.
* Mike Fleiss' very progressive view of what Miss America should be.
* Teri Polo cracking jokes left and right!
I could go on and on about the press conference, but this year, we're going to do more than that. Check out the video below for the highlights of the press conference - I think you might be surprised at what the judges had tos say. I know I was!
It's all happening you guys! I whirled into Las Vegas this evening, in plenty of time for the first night of preliminary competition! It was lovely, to say the least. I hope you are following us on Twitter for all the updates, news, and information I can possibly give you! I had a blast live-Tweeting the pageant tonight and we have a big day planned tomorrow. The judges press conference is first thing in the AM and I am finally going to get close enough to Mark Ballas to challenge him to a hand jive competition. Well...we'll see if it works out! I am excited to listen to the judges talk about their experience so far!
There is so much energy and hubbub happening here, it's wonderful! I ran into some people from Good Morning America and they start filiming at 2:30 AM - whoa! They offered to let me come along, but we all know a pagaeant girl needs her beauty sleep!
Hey - what should I ask the judges tomorrow? What are your burning questions?
Wednesday, December 7 in the 8 a.m. ET hour*
Tune in tomorrow, December 7, to hear the LIVE announcement of the national judges selected for the 2012 Miss America Pageant on ABC’s Good Morning America during the Pop News segment, in the 8 a.m. ET* hour.
* Please check your local listings