Thursday, February 18, 2010

Flinn Elementary

Jodie, a friend from high school who is now a teacher at Flinn.   Man how life changes when we have to grow up:(
I visited Flinn Elementary on February 12, just a few days before Valentine’s Day, so the kids were in full swing and awaiting the Valentine’s Day parties that were soon to be had.
I presented two times to this school; first, with the younger grades and then second with the older grades. I talked on the topic of overcoming adversity and making good choices and pursuing your dreams. Immediately after my older presentation I was asked to be various different little boys Valentine:)

Lobbying the Legislature

(Stopping for a picture with a female legislature and her mother)

Monday of last week, I got a call at 2:00 pm to speak to the House Health & Human Resources Committee on my legislative agenda, platform, and things that as Miss West Virginia I felt could be amended or added in order to make WV a safe place for children to grow up.  The only catch was they wanted me in Charleston, 45 minutes away from home, by 4:00 pm.   Even though it was 2:00 pm in the afternoon I was still on the Miss America schedule and had not yet taken a shower! YIKES!
After showering in .2 seconds, blowing dry my hair, putting the curlers in, throwing on a "stylish suit’"and running out the door with makeup in hand, I jumped in the car on my way to Charleston to present. While doing my makeup in the car and driving at the same time (hope the cops aren't reading this) I tried to wrap my mind around a way to EFFECTIVELY convey my legislative agenda.  Arriving to the Capitol 10 minutes early, I ran to the nearest bathroom in my flats, teased my hair (like every pageant girl), put on my heels and walked out like I had been ready all day….just waiting on a call:)

Before presenting, I was able to see many of my old legislative friends.  In college and upon graduation, I was able to serve at the WV State Legislature for two consecutive sessions as an legislative analyst and intern.  Tiffany Lawrence, former Miss West Virginia, now serves her county as an elected official to the House of Delegates.  She and her fiancĂ© were both in attendance, as well as many of the other legislators and lobbyists I had had the privilege of knowing.
For the rush of getting there and getting ready, the presentation went surprisingly well and I was asked to present to the Senate Health & Human Resources Committee members last week as well. Currently, with the help of Delegate Mitch Carmichael, a bill is being drafted proposing that social workers in the State of West Virginia be given a $5,000 raise. With there being 400 workers in total, that equals out to about $2,000,000, but hey, when a turnpike toll worker taking $2.00 makes more than someone protecting our children, what is $2,000,000 when our future is at stake?
This coming week, I will be spending each and every day getting other lawmakers to sign onto the bill and working it so that it pass through both the House and Senate committees and the floor.
Senate Health & Human Resources Interns

Queen for a Day!

After returning home from Las Vegas I was graced with the opportunity to spend the afternoon with a four-year-old little girl at CAMC. She had just finished up with a procedure and we were able to get together and have a few hours of “girl time.” We painted nails, did makeovers on each other, and ate our favorite candy...Chewy Sprees:)
We all know the feeling from dressing up, putting on a little lipstick or wearing our favorite outfit.  As a college student, I would dress up for exams because I carried myself differently "fixed up."   It was easier to focus and I felt more energetic.    That's the concept of QFAD - giving a little pick-me-up to kids in treatment for cancer. QFAD isn't about looking good.  It's about feeling good.
Queen for a day is done all over the United States through personal visits and group parties where makeovers, crafts, manicures, games, temporary tattoos and entertainers are all a part. Girls receive boas and tiaras donated by beauty queens; boys receive fireman hats and a badge.  The little girl that I spent the day with reminded me of HOPE.  No matter the situation she was in, she laughed and smiled and was so excited to go to the Mexican restaurant for chips and cheese that afternoon.  I could tell that her parents loved her like no one else and soaked up each minute they were able to spend with their precious, happy-go-lucky daughter.