As some readers may know, I had the amazing opportunity of winning the title of Miss Teen of America in November. At the time, I was in shock, and absolutely couldn’t wait for the year ahead.
Now, a little more than halfway through the year of my reign, I still look forward to each and every opportunity I have with the title. Since last November, I definitely have stayed busy with a variety of appearances, volunteer events and meeting a lot of awesome people. With the title, I also have been able to expand upon my platform, children’s literacy, and there are some special projects I am working on.
I love to travel, and I have been able to take some fun trips, both locally and throughout the United States. One of my favorites so far was my trip to Texas in March. I had some fun with my fellow titleholders, and also got to meet new titleholders. We were all there for the Texas state pageant, which I was excited about, because I got to go back to my home state.
I enjoyed meeting all of the Texas state titleholders. There were so many great people there, several of which I have stayed in contact with. Additionally, I got to talk to people of all ages about the importance of reading, and how it’s OK to ask for help when struggling with something. Each person was given a book to read themselves, or to read to someone else.
Other opportunities that come with this title include various volunteer events, which I have participated in. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, I have not been able to participate in as many events as I would have liked. However, I helped distribute care packages to the elderly on Valentine’s Day; volunteered at a Night to Shine, a special-needs prom experience; and, just recently, I helped package 40,000 meals for people across the world. By participating in these events, I made some great memories, but I feel I also have strengthened my appreciation for many different perspectives of life.
One of my favorite parts of this experience is my platform, where I have been able to spread the message: “each book is a new adventure, and there is a book (or adventure) for everyone.” I have visited and read to children at many schools, both in-person and virtually. In each school, I see the children of the next generation, who are impacted by everything they see and hear. This is just one of the reasons I chose children’s literacy as my platform.
I also have shared the love of reading with others by giving out books. In fact, I started a book drive to collect books for children, so that they have books to read during the school year. If you would like to help a child experience a new adventure through reading this year, you can visit the Miss Teen of America Instagram and Facebook pages (@missteenofamerica) for more information.
For the remaining months of my tenure as Miss Teen of America, and hopefully after my reign, as well, I want to continue to learn and serve through volunteering, meet and make friends with more people, and impact others through my platform.
Recently, I graduated from Allatoona High School, and I am excited to stay local for college. I will attend Kennesaw State University this fall, where I will major in business, with a focus on marketing. I also hope soon to publish a children’s book I have written. Overall, I want to make a positive impact on others.
– Caroline Martin is an Allatoona High School graduate and is passionate about encouraging children to read. Follow her on Instagram @missteenofgeorgia.