Miss America's Outstanding Teen announces that its national titleholder, Jessica Baeder, has accepted an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. "In joining the Long Gray Line, I am honored to continue the military legacy of my father, grandfathers and great-grandfathers, who all served in the military," says Baeder. "This has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl."
Baeder was especially influenced by her father, Patrick, who was an Army Ranger and was serving with the much-celebrated 10th Mountain Division in New York when she was born. Her grandfather was a career soldier in the U.S. Army Special Forces and a founding member of the elite Delta Force unit, where he served for more than 35 years, with an additional decade of service with the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Baeder, an 18-year-old honors student at Auburn High School in Auburn, Alabama, will attend the Academy this fall for military leadership training and plans to pursue an engineering degree with an emphasis on biomedical sciences.
Since being named Miss America's Outstanding Teen last summer, she has traveled the country speaking to audiences about her platform "Healthy Food For All" and acting as the official National Teen Goodwill Ambassador for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. A passionate advocate for healthy lifestyles and the reduction of food insecurity, she serves as the only teen member of the Task Force to End Child Hunger in Alabama. Baeder is also on the national Alliance to End Hunger Committee, teaches Fit for Life lessons at schools, and runs Jessica's Pantry, a food drive initiative that supplements summer lunch programs for low-income children in her home state.
Baeder was nominated for admission to West Point by Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers (AL-03) and United States Senator Richard Shelby. "Jessica is truly an outstanding young woman," said Congressman Rogers. "I was happy to nominate her for West Point, and I think she will make the State of Alabama proud."
Baeder was also awarded a $35,500 scholarship from Miss America's Outstanding Teen provided by the Harris Rosen Foundation and the Orlando Scholarship Foundation, Inc. "Jessica serves as a wonderful role model for all young people and embodies the Miss America's Outstanding Teen organization's values of positive achievement and community involvement," says Donna Bozarth, Founder and Chair of the Board, Miss America's Outstanding Teen. "We believe that education is key to an individual's success and are proud to have become one of the top scholarship providers for teen girls in the United States. We commend Jessica for choosing a path that highlights not only her strength of character, but also a commitment to her country."
"There is no doubt that the emphasis that the Miss America's Outstanding Teen and Miss America programs place on service, community engagement, scholastic achievement, physical fitness and leadership skills prepared me well," says Baeder. "I look forward to serving my country to the best of my ability."
About Miss America's Outstanding Teen
Miss America's Outstanding Teen, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is one of the nation's leading achievement programs. The MAOTeen organization encourages positive achievement by helping to nurture and build the scholastic achievement, creative accomplishment, healthy living and community involvement of our nation's young women. MAOTeen provides educational scholarships for deserving young people and has developed mentoring programs and community-based initiatives across the country. Miss America's Outstanding Teen has a long-standing relationship with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals; through this partnership, MAOTeen contestants raise over $450,000 annually to help improve the lives of CMNH children and families. Additional information about Miss America's Outstanding Teen can be found at www.maoteen.org
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