January 16, 2010

NAM and the Muscular Dystrophy Association

There is a competition at National American Miss called the Golden Achievement award. So many of our girls do a lot of community service and this is our way to recognize them for it. This was the letter that Karli Bernett turned in at last years show. Karli was the NAM Georgia Teen Queen - great work Karli!

Golden Achievement Essay
Since winning my title as National American Miss Georgia Teen, one of the community service activities that had an impact on me was my work for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. I began by volunteering at the Jerry Lewis Telethon, where I answered phones to collect donations and presented a check for the two thousand dollars I raised myself. It was at the Telethon that I met Laura Beth, a girl who was not much older than me and living with muscular dystrophy.

It was through this chance meeting that the Muscular Dystrophy Association began to hold a more personal and unique place in my heart. Although she was not diagnosed with the disease until the age of eleven and could walk up until six years ago, Laura Beth actually felt blessed. She knew what it felt like to be able to dance, run, and do gymnastics, unlike most kids with MD. Despite her disability, Laura Beth is still ambitious and feels the sense of duty to be a leader.

Laura Beth's story was so inspirational that I was moved to participate in the MDA Walk of Hope. It was an amazing day to see the positive spirit and contagious energy of the people there. I walked on Laura Beth's team and was so glad to be supporting her in whatever way I could. I went on to inform my school and friends of the Association and the crucial role it plays in MD research and support, and they became proud donors and sponsors to the cause.

I would love to continue to work with the Muscular Dystrophy Association in the years to come and volunteer my time and services in the pursuit of a cure. Everyone has goals, dreams, and aspirations in life. Everyone also has their own obstacles that they are presented with, but it is the courage and determination to rise above them that truly makes a person great.

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