DoSomething.org, a national not-for-profit organization that helps young people change the world, announced this week that Samantha Rizzuto, age sixteen, was named a 2013 Seed Grant winner. This grant will help fund STEM-CAM’s efforts to spark an interest in young students, especially girls, in subjects related to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
“It’s important for America’s youth to foster a passion for STEM, since it will have a strong influence on our country’s future,” said Rizzuto, “When I heard my program, STEM—CAM, was the recipient of a $500 grant from DoSomething.org, I was so excited. I plan on using the grant money for equipment, such as microscopes, which will help me inspire students to take part in STEM.”
STEM-CAM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through building Confidence, Changing Attitudes, and Mentoring) was founded by Rizzuto in 2012. She will be a junior at the Academy for Math, Science, and Engineering this fall. While Rizzuto always excelled and enjoyed math and science, many of her friends said "I just can’t do it." This statement perplexed Rizzuto and inspired her to show students who struggled in STEM-related subjects how much fun STEM is. She decided to target a younger age group, so the students she teaches won’t grow up with the “I just can’t” mentality. This was the birth of STEM-CAM. Through STEM-CAM, Rizzuto, along with several other mentors, has been able to present science lessons to student’s between the ages of five and twelve at local libraries. Each lesson consists of hands-on activities and encourages students to observe and question. Through this approach, Rizzuto hopes to instill a passion for STEM in young students and in turn raise the percentage of young American students entering STEM fields.
Historically, America’s ingenuity for invention and innovation has strengthened our economic growth, global competitiveness, and our standard of living. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one million new STEM-related jobs will become available this year, but only two hundred thousand American college graduates will be qualified to fill these positions.
“You are doing a great thing here. We are all very proud of you and are certain you have a very bright and exciting future ahead of you,” said Fadila Gathers, parent of a student participating in STEM-CAM.
Seed Grants, awarded by DoSomething.org, could be put toward project ideas and programs that are just getting started or to jump-start a program and realize ideas for the first time. These grants could also be put toward projects that are already developed and sustainable, and toward the next steps of projects and organizations to help you as you look to expand your program and grow your impact. DoSomething.org is one of the largest funders directly to young people in the U.S. The grant winners, age twenty-five and younger, are chosen based on overall impact and creativity.
For more information about the Do Something Grants, go to www.DoSomething.org/grants. To find out more about Rizzuto's project, go to stem-cam.com.
DoSomething.org is one of the largest organizations in the U.S. that helps young people rock causes they care about. A driving force in creating a culture of volunteerism, DoSomething.org is on track to activate two million young people in 2011. By leveraging the web, television, mobile, and pop culture, DoSomethng.org inspires, empowers, and celebrates a generation of doers: teenagers who recognize the need to do something, believe in their ability to get it done, and then take action. Plug in at www.DoSomething.org.
DoSomething.org has helped STEM-CAM with its endeavors to inspire young students to pursue STEM related fields. Being a recipient of the Seed Grant means STEM-CAM, a not-for-profit organization, will be able to pay for equipment that will aide mentors and encourage young students to love the sciences.
Written by: Samantha Rizzuto
Have you ever tried artificial eyelashes? I did for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and I LOVED them! When my artificial lashes were on, not only could I actually SEE them fluttering above my eyes, but I could FEEL the confidence that came from feeling pretty.
Someone once referred to my natural lashes as "stumps." And while the person who said it probably didn't mean any malice, it's something that I've always remembered and consequently felt self-conscious about. When I got the artificial lashes put on, I received compliments like, "You're stunning!" and "I can't stop looking at you!" The confidence that surged through me from those comments was almost enough to outweigh the "stumps." Almost.
The artificial lashes were only temporary. When they came off and my natural lashes re-emerged, I found myself disappointed with what remained. The compliments I'd received and the pride I felt in receiving them fell away much like the lashes. But why?
When you look in the mirror, are there things about yourself you want to change? Are they features you were born with—the length of eyelashes, hair color, your chin? Why are we so quick to discredit features that define us? The length of my eyelashes came with the package. So did my red hair and my "Fifelski chin." These things make me me, which is who I was born to be. So I'll keep my stumps, thank you very much.
As a side note, the artificial eye lashes did help my eyes to "pop" for a recent photo shoot—so for the purpose of pictures, I'll condone them.
Written by: Erika Fifelski is a staff writer for fourpoints magazine. Photo: Before (left) and after (right)
The Miss America Organization's new Atlantic City partners—The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority (ACCVA), and The Atlantic City Alliance (ACA)—joined the Sheraton Convention Hotel, Tanger Outlets, and The Walk to officially welcome Miss America back home to its birthplace: Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Miss Maryland State Executive Director Sherry Rush has seen the Miss America Organization grow and change with the times. She got involved with pageants when her daughter competed, and has yet to lose the drive to volunteer. But Sherry has no fear of change; in fact, she welcomes the evolution of organizations when it results in more opportunities. MAO volunteers work tirelessly, year after year, to capture more scholarship dollars and improve the quality and ability of higher education for women, she said.
fourpoints magazine was recently invited to attend the Miss Michigan Scholarship Program's sponsor dinner during its competition week. At dinner, I was surrounded by those who support the Michigan organization—sponsors that make sure the contestants, titleholders, and volunteers alike have everything they need during the week of competition and throughout the entire year.
I also had the opportunity last week to interview the executive directors from the Miss Nebraska Scholarship Program for the State feature in the August issue of the magazine. (Make sure you get your copy!) While we talked about many things, the common thread throughout the conversation was the help and support the state organization receives from North Platte, where the state competition is held each year.
If you're reading this blog on a website for pageant enthusiasts, you already know and love the Miss America Organization. You know that it is one of the largest providers of scholarships for women. You know that the contestants and titleholders are dedicated to their platforms and to community service. But do you know the work that goes into securing sponsors for each local, state, and even national pageant? Do you know who your organization’s sponsors are?
This week, your challenge is to find out. And if you want extra credit, you'll get it by reaching out to your sponsors and saying “thank you.“
Thank you to the Miss Michigan Organization for hosting fourpoints at another wonderful sponsor dinner, thank you to those involved with the Miss Nebraska Organization who allowed me to interview them, and thank you to all of our readers who continue to support our mission to be a resource for everything Miss America and MAOTeen.
Written by: Erika Fifelski is the staff writer for fourpoints magazine
Looking for a competition or appearance wardrobe? Want to train with experts in their field? Plan to attend the MAOTeen Trade Show taking place August 13-17, 2013, at the Rosen Centre Hotel in conjunction with the Miss America's Outstanding Teen Pageant! The Trade Show is open Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Shop for your competition and appearance wardrobe needs, train with some of the best in the industry, and pick up some fun MAOTeen and Princess Camp memorabilia. Appointments can be made with the vendors listed below.
Tickets for the 2013 Miss America's Outstanding Teen Competition went on sale today for state organizations and the general public.
Tickets are $40 for each preliminary night, $75 for the final night of competition, or $150 for season tickets.*
There will be no will call booth in Orlando, so you must order your tickets through Ticketmaster and print them at home or have the tickets shipped to you. Click here to order your tickets for the 2013 Miss America's Outstanding Teen Competition.
* Standard Ticketmaster rates and charges apply.
MAOTEEN 2013 BADGES
Only badge-holders are allowed access to the MAOTeen Trade Show, autograph signings, contestant talent rehearsals, and contestant visitation following each night's preliminary pageant competition. For badges to be ready for your arrival in Orlando, you must place your order at www.maoteenstore.com no later than July 19, 2013. Badges are $25.
MAOTEEN 2013 DVD PACKAGE PRE-ORDER
FOR THE CROWNING OF MAOTEEN 2014
(Special pre-order pricing)
The DVD package includes all three preliminary competition nights, the final night of competition, and the Top 5 private interviews. The pre-order price is $125. To receive this special pre-order pricing, orders must be submitted by August 17, 2013, at the MAOTeen information booth located at the Rosen Centre Hotel or paid by credit card at www.maoteenstore.com.
MAOTEEN 2013 PROGRAM BOOK PRE-ORDER
The MAOTeen program book will ship August 9, 2013, directly to the address you submit online; it is not available for pick-up in Orlando. Pre-orders may be placed at www.maoteenstore.com for $20 plus shipping and handling. Programs will also be available for purchase in Orlando.
2013 MAOTEEN EVENTS
Tickets are: $59.95 adults/$35.95 children, twelve and under. Lap children three and under are free. (Price includes tip and transportation from Rosen to Medieval Times)
Evening of Stars Extravaganza
This event is a fundraiser for MAOTeen Scholarships and will take place in the Executive Ballroom. Tickets are $65. This is a plated, sit-down dinner with assigned tables.
Awards Ceremony and After-Party
Tickets must be purchased for "Miss" titleholders and all others wishing to attend this event. Don't wait to purchase your ticket! If your contestant wins the competition, we will not offer complimentary tickets to state directors or family members. Tickets are $50 for adults and children
Place orders for events at www.maoteenstore.com via credit card by July 19, 2013.
Source: Miss America’s Outstanding Teen
Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan and Miss America Chairman and CEO Sam Haskell hosted an afternoon briefing Tuesday on Capitol Hill to discuss the Miss America Organization’s education initiatives. The event included an update on the organization’s efforts to advocate for the importance of higher education and, in particular, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) for young women.
The Miss America Foundation, Inc. is the world’s largest provider of assistance to young women, totaling more than $45 million in scholarships each year. Twelve thousand young women, in towns and cities across this country, participate in this program yearly to compete for scholarships that they will use for their education.
Sam Haskell announced a new STEM scholarship for Miss America program participants. He also announced a new leadership role for MAO Board Member Tammy Haddad, who was named president of development for the Miss America Foundation, Inc.
Source: Miss America Organization