Olivia McMillan has a lot to do to get ready for the Miss Americas Outstanding Teen pageant.
There are wardrobe considerations and talent practices. But first and foremost, McMillan has hit the ground to promote both the organization and her own platform.
Wednesday is the 17th birthday of McMillan, the Northside High School student who was crowned Miss Georgias Outstanding Teen two weeks ago.
I cant think of a more perfect birthday present for the young woman representing our community on the national stage than a donation to the Childrens Miracle Network in her honor.
As part of her Miss Georgias Outstanding Teen responsibilities, McMillan is currently raising money for the Childrens Miracle Network.
The Miss America program and the Childrens Miracle Network have a long partnership together raising money and awareness for childrens hospitals throughout the United States.
Young women such as McMillan who win their state pageant actually have two platforms they will promote during their reign: the Childrens Miracle Network and their personal platform.
In McMillans case, the two are a good fit. Her platform, the Sibling Support Project, is a support group for the siblings of medically fragile children and special needs children.
McMillans brother, Max, has autism and bipolar disorder along with severe sensory issues.
In the case of my brother, he really senses when you are angry or in a bad mood and he feeds off that, McMillan said. When you are upset, he will start acting out. A lot of siblings are like me, they dont want to give their parents another thing to worry about. So the Sibling Support Project gives kids an outlet, a place where you can be upset or angry and know you can talk about it, that it is OK.
The Sibling Support Project is such a great resource for families with special needs children and medically fragile children, and so often families have no idea of its existence or its offerings, said McMillans mother, Tracey.
Olivia was actually searching for information to help her better understand her brothers disabilities on the Internet when she ran across information about the Sibling Support Project.
To help McMillan raise money for the Childrens Miracle Network, people can go online to www.maoteen4kids.org. Choose Search for Contestant, then type in McMillans name and Georgia as the state. That brings up a page with a Donate Now icon. Click on that and you can make a tax deductible donation. Its a birthday present for our Miss Georgias Outstanding Teen that will help to change lives.