Beginning this fall, Miss Virginia Cecili Weber—a top 10 finalist in last month’s Miss America Pageant—will share the importance of leadership and making healthy choices with students in Virginia elementary schools as part of a Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) educational program.
Virginia ABC has a long-standing partnership with the Miss Virginia Organization. Last year, Miss Virginia Michaela Sigmon reached 18,473 elementary school students with her message about making smart choices. Virginia ABC’s Education and Prevention Section is continuing that working relationship with Weber for the Miss Virginia School Tour in 2017-18. Supported by a $10,000 ABC grant, her tour will feature programs at elementary schools across the state throughout the school year.
Weber, a resident of Roanoke and 2017 graduate of Hollins University, was named Miss Virginia in June. During presentations at elementary schools, she plans to encourage students to get involved as leaders in school. She has dubbed her platform, “Born Leaders.” It incorporates a compelling message of empowering themselves and others to make smart choices, including saying “no” to drugs and alcohol. The Miss Virginia Organization and Virginia ABC share the combined mission of educating students about making positive decisions to better prepare for success.
“It’s important to share age-appropriate information about alcohol to protect youth from dangerous behaviors as they grow older,” said Virginia ABC Education and Prevention Section Manager Katie Weaks.
Participants in the school programs will learn:
- how to identify what is safe and healthy for their bodies;
- what positive choices are and how to make them;
- how to say “no” to unhealthy choices;
- what it means to be a leader in their community and among their friends; and
- how to identify who is a trusted adult and the role they play in their lives.
“By making healthy choices for themselves and empowering others as leaders to make those same choices, students can build their self-esteem,” said Weber. “I am excited to be able to have this opportunity to help young people get more involved in leadership roles.”
Schools interested in scheduling a Miss Virginia appearance may request a school tour stop by visiting www.abc.virginia.gov/education/programs/miss-va.
The Virginia ABC Education and Prevention Section provides free publications, including one created specifically for elementary school students which is distributed to all tour stop participants and can also be ordered using the publication order form available on its website, https://www.abc.virginia.gov/education/publications.