To know Miss Ohio, Elissa McCracken, as a middle school student, very few people would have predicted her January 2013 participation in the Miss America Competition. An excellent student although extremely shy, a self-proclaimed “band geek” who wore glasses and battled with bad skin, Elissa kept to herself and locked herself in her room to cry regularly and secretly for two years because of the hateful instant messenger taunts she received almost daily. The experience shook her self-confidence to the core. With help, Elissa found a way to beat the bullies—in a manner that changed her life.
Within the past two years, as a result of her participation in the Miss Ohio Scholarship Program (and specifically the local Miss West Central Scholarship Program), Elissa has been able to promote her “Stop Cyberbullying” platform and share both her life-changing story and practical techniques anyone could use to address and put a stop to their own cyberbullying experiences. “I have devoted myself to the commitment that I would help others to avoid the intimidation, humiliation, and embarrassment that I endured,” Elissa said.
Elissa has also worked to create public service announcements on her important platform. The Partnership for Violence Free Families and the high school students from Lancaster City Schools have worked with her to prepare these PSAs for broadcast, locally and statewide.
Having just completed her third year of the rigorous six-year pharmacy school program at Ohio Northern University, Elissa is in pursuit of a doctorate in pharmacy. However, she plans to continue spreading the anti-cyberbullying message in the future, for years to come.
To read the full story, click here to order a copy of the December/January 2012-13 fourpoints.
Written by: Leslie Townsend