(Thanks SUZIE FOOTE for photos!)
INTERVIEW PRELIM WINNER at MISS AMERICA!
ONSTAGE INTERVIEW WINNER at MISS AMERICA!
MISS AMERICA 2003!
WINNER OF A $50,000 SCHOLARSHIP
FOR HER STUDIES AT HARVARD!!!
"A Chain Reaction of Hope," says Miss Illinois
(press release from just after Erika won Miss Illinois)
Erika Harold, Miss Illinois 2002, has launched a statewide speaking tour focusing on her platform against youth violence. As an advocate against gang pressures, drugs, crime and gun violence, Erika is calling to action all students as a collective voice in proclaiming "youth violence stops with us". A national spokesperson for Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, The Teen Victims Project of the National Center for Victims of Crime and The Student Pledge Against Gun Violence, she addresses issues of positive social change and calls for a halt to the climb of youth violence statistics.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Illinois, Erika has been admitted to Harvard Law School where she will pursue Public Interest Law and Public Policy after her year of service as Miss Illinois. A classically trained vocalist who has sung in Japan, she won a Preliminary Talent Award at Miss Illinois for her presentations of Habanera from "Carmen."
As Miss Illinois, Erika receives $15,000 in scholarships with at total of $40,300 awarded among all 35 participants of this year's program. In addition, colleges and universities throughout the state offer over $2.7 million in-kind scholarships or tuition waivers to contestants. Held annually in Oakbrook Terrace, the Miss Illinois Program strives to provide educational opportunities to the young women of the state through scholarship, service and volunteerism. It strives to recognize the intelligence, talent, moral character and personal commitment of its exceptional participants as they pursue excellence resulting in positive life experience, spirit and goodwill.
AT A GLANCE...
Parents: Robert Harold and Donna Tanner-Harold
Entering Harvard Law School in 2003
Also: Urbana High School, University of Illinois Graduate
Platform Issue: Empowering Youth Against Violence
Scholastic Ambition: Accepted to Harvard Law School to pursue a career in the fields of Public Interest Law & Public Policy
Talent: Operatic Aria
Scholastic Honors: Phi Beta Kappa; U of I Chancellor Scholar chosen as a Truman Scholarship finalist and USA Today's All-USA College Academic Second Team; selected for membership in "Senior 100 Honorary" by U of I Alumni Association for outstanding leadership & academic achievement
Other Accomplishments: Submitted written testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives' Energy & Commerce Committee on Welfare Reform Reauthorization Proposals; Vice President of minority student newsletter & recipient of first prize in Afro-American Studies research paper competition; represented high school in Japan as part of the JALEX Study Program
Employment: Illinois Gubernatorial Candidate's Campaign Youth Coordinator; teaching assistant; motivational speaker & public relations coordinator; TV intern
Family: Father is owner of satellite installation co. and a director of midwest operations for a youth baseball program. Mother is college counselor and foster parent trainer. She has three siblings: Alexandra, 20, Anastasia, 17, & Nicholas, 14.
Career Ambition: To become a lawyer & seek political office at the state and/or national level
Local Competition Sponsor: Miss Land of Lincoln
State Competition Sponsor: Miss Illinois Scholarship Pageant, Inc., Oakbrook Terrace
ERIKA IN THE NEWS:
(Pre-Miss America Win; Scroll Down For Miss America Links)
More Links of Interest:
MISS ILLINOIS' MISSION:VIOLENCE PREVENTION
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