fourpoints magazine is excited to announce that our February issue will have a special theme: The Men of Miss America. This edition will highlight the work and dedication of male volunteers, executive directors, dads, mentors, and friends. We've talked with several people already who have expressed their gratitude for the men that have helped them along their pageant journey.
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This week, I interviewed Miss Michigan Haley Williams. Haley was named the Quality of Life Award winner during the 2014 Miss America competition week for her platform, "Through a Child’s Eyes: Conquering Childhood Grief." When she was four years old, Haley's father died, and consequently she spent much of her childhood dealing with the grief that came with her loss. Haley's story of rebuilding her life and confidence through grief management is a perfect reflection for our Men of Miss America cover story. Even though her father isn't physically with her, Haley credits this man's influence to her platform success. Her life events inspired her work with other children experiencing loss.
But Haley is also doing some inspiring of her own. While the cover story is typically a place to highlight a contestant's successes in the four points of the crown, Haley requested her article be a little different. Before our interview, she wrote in an e-mail to me, "I am so touched to be recognized by your publication, however I am requesting to use this opportunity to focus deeper on the purpose of my platform and the needed societal awareness for the cause itself rather than my own success, actions, and accolades in regards to my efforts."
I hope that readers of the February issue will be as moved by Haley as I was. In seeking to share hope with grieving families instead of highlighting her own winning qualities, Haley reveals her true selflessness.
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Written by: Erika Rose is fourpoints magazine's staff writer. Photo: Allen Dye