TAMPA, Florida, Nov. 21, 2016 — The Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Organization (MAOTeen) announced today that is has reached a significant milestone. Since its inception in 2005, MAOTeen has now paid over $1,000,000 in cash scholarships to over 200 colleges and universities on behalf of our participants.
 
MAOTeen Board Chair Donna Bozarth said it was humbling to hit the $1,000,000 mark. “We look at today as just our first down payment on giving future generations the ability to access higher education,” she said. “This is only the beginning.”
Michaela McLean, Miss Florida’s Outstanding Teen 2014, is on her way to obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre. An Honor Roll student, Michaela found the process of affording a college education difficult. “I am so happy that I am attending the University of Alabama! I am so thankful to MAOTeen and the scholarships they provide that helped me attend college.”
Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2011, Lacey Russ, graduated from Oral Roberts University and is now working full time as a Campus Visits Coordinator at ORU. “My three and a half years at ORU were more shaping, challenging, rewarding and joyful than I could ever express. I could never say thank you enough to the MAOTeen Organization for making it possible for me to graduate debt free.
 
“Scholarships are not just an abstract concept. They help students reach their dreams,” said Kim Parrish, President of MAOTeen. “And, as you know about the talented and articulate young women that participate in our program, they have big dreams. They want to change the world and make a difference.”
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Family of First Columbine High School Shooting Victim Partners with

Miss America’s Outstanding Teen to Promote Kindness in Schools
ADA, Oklahoma, Nov. 21, 2016 — The family of Rachel Joy Scott, the first person killed in the Columbine High School shooting, is partnering with Miss America’s Outstanding Teen (MAOTeen) to promote kindness, hope and a positive climate in K-12 schools.
MAOTeen Nicole Jia and the organization Rachel’s Challenge launched their partnership November 19, 2016 with The Chickasaw Nation Chickasha Pehlichi Ikbi Youth Leadership Program in Ada, Oklahoma. That’s where Larry Scott, the uncle of Rachel Joy Scott, led the 60-minute Rachel’s Challenge program. It tells the inspiring story of Rachel Scott, whose example of kindness and acceptance were brought to light when she became the first victim of the Columbine High School tragedy. Conveyed through stories from Rachel’s life and writings, the Rachel’s Challenge presentation shows the profound, positive impact we can have on those around us.
“160,000 students skip school every day for fear of being bullied,” says MAOTeen Nicole Jia. “Working together, we can help to create supportive communities both in schools and online that are united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion.”
Jia was once a victim of exclusion and isolation bullying and wants to increase awareness that ignoring or isolating peers is a silent form of bullying, including on social media. She is leading MAOTeen’s #BeSelfless campaign, which challenges kids to post fewer selfies and share more selfless acts of kindness and authenticity on social media.
“We are thrilled about our partnership with Miss America’s Outstanding Teen and Nicole,” said Rob Unger, CEO of Rachel’s Challenge. “This is a movement to shine light on Rachel’s story and most importantly the power of reaching out and being kind to those around you.”
About Miss America’s Outstanding Teen:
One of the nation’s leading achievement programs, the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen organization encourages positive achievement by helping to nurture and build the scholastic achievement, creative accomplishment, healthy living and community involvement of our nation’s youth. In the past decade, MAOTeen has paid out over $1 million in cash scholarships to more than 200 colleges and universities, while developing mentoring programs and community-based initiatives across the country. MAOTeen has a long-standing relationship with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, raising more than $100,000 this year to help improve the lives of children nationwide. Additional information about the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen organization can be found at www.maoteen.org