Miss America: "Good Choices" Key
October 25, 2010
Caressa Cameron, Miss America 2010, spoke recently to about two dozen Pittsburgh school girls at a downtown conference staged by the non-profit Educating Teens About HIV/AIDS. Cameron asked the girls to count off and stand up as she gave statistics indicating their likelihood of contracting STDs, including HIV. "Is that the type of future you want for yourself?" she asked the girls, who were selected for the event by health teachers. Cameron described how her uncle's death from AIDS affected her. "My family cared for him the last two months of his life, so I've seen firsthand the devastation that HIV and AIDS can do," she said. "That's why I would hate to see anyone have to deal with that, especially when they have the opportunity to get the education to prevent it." Cameron admitted her behavior as a Fredericksburg, Va., teen was not ideal, but she turned her life around after hearing a talk by Miss Virginia. "I knew what the odds for me were in the town I grew up in. I wasn't going to let myself be limited by where I lived and the people I grew up with." Several in Cameron's audience said they took her message to heart: "She's an African-American woman, and she went through the same stuff we're going through, and she became something," said Faison Intermediate eighth-grader Teara Crosby.
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