Issue
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Miss Connecticut 2002
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As a student in a high school that was low in minority representation, it was important that I understood how I fit in with my peers. My high school took the initiative to make the issue of diversity a main concern and constructed a peer-mentoring program designed to represent everyone in the student body. Not only did peer mentoring help to decrease violence, encourage civil mediation and promote scholastic excellence, it also fostered increased responsibility upon the student body to set examples for each other and become better role models.

Peer-mentoring provides our children with the task to be responsible to and for each other. Programs designed to facilitate peer-mentoring and mediation are in low concentration, but nevertheless still growing. Because of these programs, studies have shown great improvement in all realms of the affected children's lives including their family, friends, community and school. I believe in the importance of peer mentoring programs and the benefits they provide to our children.

As a mentor, I realize my responsibility to be a positive role model as well as provide opportunities for youth to get involved. For this reason, as Miss Connecticut I will continue to introduce my peer-mentoring program, "Each One Teach One" to schools nationwide. I also plan to continue my efforts in lobbying the state legislature about mentoring initiatives, specifically for peer-mentoring programs.