Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Inspire South Carolina Everyday!

So, I am sure by now you have seen the Road Show Shenanigans blog and know how much fun we as a staff all had during our May 2013 travels around the state! But I wanted to share with you all a very special opportunity I was lucky enough to have on my trips for Road Show.

As the runner of CarolinaTeenHealth.org, I get the opportunity to present at a lot of youth events. I love being in front of teens, and their energy and enthusiasm can be contagious! So when we started to plan youth events for this year, I was excited to have the opportunity to be back in front of over 2,500 teens in just under two weeks. But this year, we had the opportunity to bring in two amazing individuals with ties to our state to speak to our young people.

First up on our tour was Dwayne Harper.  Mr. Harper is from Orangeburg, SC and graduated from South Carolina State University. He was drafted to play in the big leagues, going to the NFL, playing for teams like the Seattle Seahawks and the San Diego Chargers as a cornerback, taking on some of the biggest names in NFL quarterback history, like Dan Marino and John Elway.  He even had a chance to play in Super Bowl 29. But once he retired from his NFL career, he came back home, to coach teens and to help them make better decisions.  We brought Mr. Harper along for some of our Road Show stops at Midlands-area schools, and he shared insight about goal setting, the importance of good decision making to reach your goals, and how you can reach your goals by being your best self every day.  He also made time to answer some questions our young people had, which included some sports questions, but also some life questions, like how he, as a single parent, deals with the stress of raising a teen in the world today.  His speaking events were inspiring and enriching, and we were grateful he was willing to join us on our journey!

The following week, I had the pleasure of escorting the current reigning Miss South Carolina USA, Megan Pinckney, down to the low country to visit with schools so she could share her platform about character and why having character and making good decisions is paramount to seeing your dreams become reality.  She was willing to share not only her crown and sash with the young people, as well as her heart, providing them with stories about her own failures and how her character helped pull her through them to get up and try again.  The young people were able to ask her about the process she had to go through to become Miss South Carolina USA (and her former title, Miss South Carolina Teen USA), how she had to prepare, what she was looking forward to most about the pageant, etc. She even made time out to pose in photos for some teens at the events. After our time spent together, I can say with enthusiasm and sincerity that Megan Pinckney will make every South Carolinian proud during the Miss USA pageant on June 16th and would make an amazing Miss USA. (You can vote for her to help her bring home the crown by visiting here!)

Overall, I had a wonderful time with our speakers and the teens, learning just as much as the young people as we listened to the inspirational South Carolinians in front of us.  I was inspired to do my best to become an asset that my state could be proud of, and I am sure the young people were as well!

by:  Taylor Wilson, Communications Specialist, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy 

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