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Wednesday, 11 April 2012 11:13

New Mexico Miss Goes Green

DeAnna_Jerge_Miss_San_Miguel_County__Smokey_the_BearDeAnna Jerge, Miss San Miguel County New Mexico, assisted Keep New Mexico Clean & Beautiful with its statewide kick off of “Green Starts Here" on March 8 in Ruidoso, New Mexico. DeAnna’s Platform, “Keep America Beautiful,” and recycling initiatives have gained her recognition on both the state and national level.

DeAnna was crowned on December 3, 2011 after years of service and participation in the Miss America Organization. The previous Miss Roswell (crowned January 29, 2011) placed in the Top 10 in the Miss New Mexico Pageant in June 2011. She has received President Obama’s award for outstanding community service for founding the “Teens Go Green” recycling program in 2010. She met with New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and area legislators to talk  about renewable energy and resources. DeAnna recently finished writing a children’s book entitled “EuroDog Saves the Planet” and hands out seed packets to encourage planting among young people. She prides herself on beautification (i.e. recycling). She wants to give the slogan “natural beauty” a whole new meaning to include our natural surroundings.

Throughout the months of March, April, and May, an anticipated twelve hundred Keep America Beautiful affiliates and participating organizations will bring together an estimated 3.8 million volunteers to produce more vibrant, beautiful, cleaner, and safer towns and cities. DeAnna is proud that her platform of environmental stewardship is getting the recognition it so richly deserves.

“Service to the community is the ultimate demonstration that you love where you live,” said Matthew McKenna, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “Participating in the Great American Cleanup can become a foundation for uniting friends, family, neighbors and communities in activities that don’t just make your community aesthetically pleasing, but also make it more effective at overcoming challenges.”

DeAnna, 18, will continue on her path of environmental service while she competes in future Miss America pageants. She is looking forward to the Mis New Mexico Pageant this June. DeAnna is studying public relations and elementary education.

Source and photo: Laurie Jerge

Published in State & Local News

Ane Cristal Romero, Miss New Mexico 2005, took the difficult topic of Breaking the Silence: Youth Suicide Prevention as her platform to Miss America 2006. She vowed to continue working to contribute to the nation’s education about mental health and suicide prevention issues. She is now a legislatie aid to Congresswoman Grace Napolitano of California. Ane was recently recognized by The National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health for her work in Washington D.C. 

Romero is Napolitano’s head staff mmber for a bill the congresswoman introduced in February, the Mental Health in Schools Act. This bill would authorize more therapists and mental health services in public schools nationwide.

“No one on Capitol Hill is as organized, thorough and passionate about improving mental health delivery as Ane Romero,” said Henry Acosta, director for the National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health. “She’s well respected by her colleagues who appreciate her knowledge, hard work, and dedication to mental health issues. She’s extremely intelligent and resourceful, and yet so humble.”

Romero hopes the bill will help save lives of adolescents who are struggling with depression and other mental health issues.

“Overall, this legislation will give young people the opportunity to become more informed about mental health and help remove the stigma,” Romero said. “It will encourage them to ask for help, and not be ashamed or embarrassed to access services.”

Source: New Mexico Highlands University

Published in Exclusive Web Content
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 11:14

Reaching Out

Posted Friday, December 03, 2010

Hello, faithful readers.

This week, I received a letter from Carol Henry, the ED of the Miss New Mexico pageant. She shared a very touching and serious story with me that I want to pass on to you:

Two years ago this week, Reagan Kenyon, then 6 yr. old daughter of Molly and Clifford Kenyon, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called a "Wilmes Tumor." She was rushed to a hospital in Lubbock, Texas where she underwent surgery removing a very large tumor along with her kidney. Her surgery was followed by many months of chemotherapy. After several months of being "clean," the beast returned, this time in Reagan's lung. Now at 8 years old, she is once again undergoing a very toxic form of chemo to rid her little body of the "ugly beast."

This past summer, several of the Miss New Mexico contestants attended a "Run for Reagan" event to raise money for the overwhelming expenses that the family has incurred. Much to everyone's surprise, a robust little Reagan also walked the course along with the others! Almost a picture of health, she was all grins as she posed for pictures with the Miss New Mexico ladies! Sarah Richardson, a 2010 contestant and Reagans "big sis" in the pageant, provided Reagan with a Little Miss crown attached to a ball cap to accomodate the crown staying on Reagans head!  It was a great day for all of those who attended the event.

Because Reagan was scheduled to have a chemo treatment the week of the Miss NM pageant she was unable to be presented on stage during the program last June. So, the crafty technicians who worked with the sound during the Miss NM pageant, were able to skype Reagan in from her hospital bed so that she could wish everyone a cherry hello during the preliminary competition! It was a moment that made everyone realize that life is fragile and that we should be thankful for every breath that we take and prayerful for those moments that take our breath away as this one did.

But the story gets better! Madison Tabet, Miss NM 2010 and I attended the teen pageant this summer in Orlando. I'm sure that most of you have seen the long long line of taxi's available outside of the Rosen Centre and have probably utilized one now and then. Madison and I needed a ride one evening and randomly choose a cab from the line. During the usual chit-chat with the driver, it was revealed that he had recently been in New Mexico in a small town named Ft. Sumner. I mentioned that I had also been there for a fundraiser for a small child who was ill with cancer. The driver (named Singh) tilted his head in deep thought, then replied, "I know of this child. Her name is Reagan. Her picture is all over my computer and my wife and I pray everyday for her recovery!"

Well, you can imagine the shock on our faces as this story unfolded. Singh had family in Ft. Sumner who had all shaved their heads in honor of Reagan's hair loss, and their pictures, along with Reagans, were on his computer! Madison and I are still in awe that we were somehow chosen, (perhaps by divine guidance?) to accept this message, all the way in Florida, and with the remote chance that we would choose Singhs cab! We realized at that moment that Reagans health was important to people everywhere!

Madison and I feel that there was a "purpose" in that conversation with Singh the cab driver in Orlando, Florida. We just don't know, yet, what that purpose was. We are counting on Reagan's health allowing her to be on stage in June with all of the other Little Misses. And with a full head of gorgeous hair so she can be crowned a "Little Miss."

Reagan was the honored guest at a "toy drive" this past month, put on by the Roswell Elks. As you can see by the pictures, hundreds of toys are piled up for delivery to the hospital in Lubbock, Texas, the facility where Reagan is treated. Madison Tabet, Miss NM 2010 was also a special guest at the toy drive, and she and Reagan spent the evening dancing way into the night! Still stoic and a picture of health, we honored this special child with a MOAT t-shirt filled with the signatures of all 2011 Miss contestants names and well- wishes. You can just see the excitement in her eyes as she proudly wears the t-shirt at the fundraiser!

The Miss New Mexico board and contestants are working hard to get the funds to make sure that Reagan gets to the 2011 Miss America pageant this January. Reagans dream is to attend the pageant and we want to make sure that dream comes true for her. I hope you will have the privelege of meeting this charming young lady. She will steal your heart away!

Please pray for Reagan's continued health, and maybe one day, we will see her on the Miss America stage, living and breathing to tell her compelling story of how she survived the "beast."

I know that I am going to keep Reagan and her family in my heart. I encourage all of you to do the same.

Published in Pageant Blog