To earn their respective state pageant titles, Jaryn Franklin and Courtney Pelot set goals, put in the hard work and focused on positivity.
Those simple lessons resonated Oct. 7 when Franklin and Pelot spoke with young clients in treatment for substance use at the Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Campus in Rockford. Franklin earned the title of Miss Illinois this year and Pelot is Miss Wisconsin 2016.
Both women discussed their pageant journeys and the excitement of competing in the Miss America pageant last month in Atlantic City. Franklin works as a nurse and her platform is advocating for individuals with disabilities. Pelot recently graduated with a degree in communication arts and promotes community literacy as part of her platform.
The women graciously fielded questions from clients, inquiries that ranged from had they met anyone famous to how they became Miss Illinois and Miss Wisconsin. One client, upon learning of Franklin’s vocal talent, asked if she could sing for the group. Franklin obliged and belted out a strong rendition of “God Bless America.”
Setting goals and working to achieve them are important lessons in addiction recovery, as well. Franklin spoke of competing four years before she won her title.
“Getting to your goals doesn’t happen overnight,” she said. “I kept going because I had that goal (of becoming Miss Illinois). If you believe in yourself and keep going forward, you can accomplish your goals.”