We are the International City, a city of mixed races, cultures and religions.
Nobody could represent us better than our new ambassador, Olivia McMillan, the Miss Warner Robins Outstanding Teen who was crowned Miss Georgias Outstanding Teen.
She is adopted. Her parents are Caucasian while she and her special needs brother are bi-racial.
That is who she is. What she has become is happy and confident -- an utter joy to speak with and beautiful on the outside but more importantly on the inside. She is a testament to the love and devotion that her parents have given her.
Somehow when talking with Olivia, I am reminded of a line spoken by Tom Hanks from the movie Youve Got Mail. In one particular scene, he is describing the unusual make-up of his family and ends the explanation by declaring, We are an American family.
The McMillans are for sure an American family, and Olivia is an International City girl.
One of the things that makes the city of Warner Robins different from other towns is the fact that we are all different. Only a small percentage of those who live here older than 40 were born and raised here. We are a melting pot of people brought together by a military installation; a conglomeration of people who have chosen not to be divided by our differences but to embrace them.
So while her parents get a lot of credit as well as her teachers, her friends, the Miss Warner Robins pageant board and, of course, Olivia herself, a small portion of the credit for her success has to go to our city.
Some cities boast about being too busy to hate or have for their motto City of Friendship. But we dont need any slogan because here in Warner Robins, our nickname says it all.
We are International -- open and accepting of all.
Olivia has a platform to share as a pageant winner but more importantly a story to tell. She will meet hundreds, maybe thousands of young children during the next year. With skin color that is not quite black and not quite white, Olivia will be able to cross boundaries. She will talk of being chosen by her parents or sympathize with those families who have a member with a disability. She will be able to say to many not I know someone like you, but instead, I am like you. I am different as well.
She will inspire others because she herself is an inspiration -- an International City inspiration.
Nothing should make us prouder that for the next year, Miss Georgias Outstanding Teen will introduce herself by saying, I am from Warner Robins, Georgia.