Miss CT's 'Day of Confidence' to inspire young women

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Region - posted Fri., Apr. 22, 2011
Miss Connecticut, Brittany Decker, seen here in Las Vegas with her friend Brooke, is planning an event to help teen girls with their self-image. File photo by Steve Smith.
Miss Connecticut, Brittany Decker, seen here in Las Vegas with her friend Brooke, is planning an event to help teen girls with their self-image. File photo by Steve Smith.

On her flight returning home from the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas in January, Miss Connecticut Brittany Decker said she was reflecting on how the organization has empowered her to achieve her own personal and professional goals, while providing a forum in which to express her opinions, talent and intelligence.

That inspired Decker to create an opportunity to pass on what she has learned to other young women.

On May 14, Decker will host the “Day of Confidence” at Maneeley’s Banquet Facility in South Windsor, which will highlight presenters who will share inspirational stories and execute interactive activities to give hope to young women and facilitate the discovery of identity, inspire expression of individuality, and encourage a drive for success.

“I wanted to do one big thing before I give up my title [in June],” Decker said, “and this goes along with my platform – One World: Hope for All Children – which instills self-confidence and self-worth.”

Decker said that many young girls have become fans of hers, and through conversing with them, she has seen a need for teen girls to have better role models, and learn better ways of valuing themselves.

“It's hard when you're a teenager,” she said. “Some girls I see are going through some bullying now. Basically I want them to see that there are role models in their own community, and that they can become successful, no matter what. You don't have to be a big-name celebrity. You can be an everyday person, but if you work hard and set your mind to something, you can achieve it.”

Decker said she had always dreamt of being on the Miss America stage, but never really thought it would happen. She said she hopes her story of attaining that goal will help inspire other girls to attain theirs, no matter what they are.

“It all starts with being confident, really discovering who you are and what you're personally passionate about,” Decker said, “and not conforming with everyone else around you. I think girls in the middle- to high school-age have a really hard time with that.”

The business manager for the Miss Connecticut organization, Gail McCool, said letters have been sent to Boys and Girls Clubs in the greater Hartford area, Girl Scout troops, and school guidance departments.

“She has this yearning to help young women,” McCool said of Decker, “because she feels that our program and the experiences that she's had have really changed her as a person, and she wants to offer that opportunity to other girls.”

The event is open to any girl between the ages of 12 and 17. At press time, confirmed speakers include Miss Vermont, Caroline Bright, who will present a workshop on community service and being a global citizen, and Miss Connecticut's Outstanding Teen, Logan West, who will host a presentation based on her anti-bullying platform.

Professional image coach Dianne Daniels will present a workshop on self-image, entitled “Loving Your Reflection.”

Decker will present a workshop on her platform, “One World: Hope For All Children,” and will include highlights from her visits to Haiti, her work with the Connecticut Children's Medical Center, and documentaries that she has filmed in Haiti and Cambodia.

The cost is $40 per participant, and the Miss Connecticut organization will sponsor girls interested in attending on a first-come, first-served basis. Businesses or individuals wishing to sponsor attendees are also being sought.

For registration or sponsorship information, contact Gail McCool at 860-861-8261 or BusMgr@missctamerica.org.

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