Miss Illinois and Miss Wisconsin visit Rosecrance clients for Red Ribbon Week

Miss Illinois and Miss Wisconsin speaking to audience

Miss Illinois, Grace Khachaturian, and Miss Wisconsin, Tianna Vanderhei, recently visited Rockford for Red Ribbon Week, where they toured the Rosecrance Griffin Williamson campus and met with Rosecrance clients.

The Red Ribbon Campaign® is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation reaching millions of young people during Red Ribbon Week®, October 23-October 31 each year. Khachaturian and Vandherhei used the campaign as an opportunity to talk to local students and Rosecrance clients about the pillars of character, bullying, becoming the boss of your own future, and mental illness and substance use.

The women opened up about their personal struggles and shared their own experiences with clients. Additionally, they offered encouragement and answered over a dozen client questions.

One client asked, “What is your biggest advice for people who struggle with mental illness or substance use?”

Khachaturian replied, “Talk about it. Talk to someone who makes you feel safe, and know that this isn’t the title of your life it’s just a season.”

She also reminded clients that reaching success looks a lot more like a scribble than a perfect picture: “We often imagine this perfect picture and it’s a letdown because it doesn’t exist.”

That metaphor is very symbolic to recovery in a lot of ways, too. Recovery is a process— a process that resembles a series of scribbles and not a nice, neat straight line. Recovery requires growth and transformation, which isn’t always easy. Still, it’s worth it.