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Big Brothers Big Sisters and Ad Council Join Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler to Promote Mentoring to Help Kids Overcome Adversity

Miss America's Platform Emphasizes the Importance of Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents

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NEW YORK, Aug. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Ad Council are joining the Miss America Organization to announce a national collaboration to promote one-to-one long-term staff supported mentoring to help kids achieve in school and succeed in life.  

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110613/PH17540LOGO )

Miss America Laura Kaeppeler made the announcement during a special tour and luncheon with Big Brothers Big Sisters "Littles" at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center in New York. Kaeppeler, whose national platform is "Circles of Support – Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents," shared with the mentees her personal story of experiencing her father's incarceration when she was a child.  Nearly a quarter of Big Brothers Big Sisters' mentees have a parent who is or has been incarcerated. 

Kaeppeler is starring in a series of videos, and using social media, to increase awareness for her platform and introduce Big Brothers Big Sisters as a solution. One video featuring Kaeppeler is featured on AOL.com today as part of AOL's "You've Got" series, and a second video is featured on Big Brothers Big Sisters Facebook page. The collaboration is an extension of Big Brothers Big Sisters' Start Something® campaign. 

This platform breaks new ground for the 91-year-old Miss America Organization. Previous Miss Americas have championed many important social issues and causes but Kaeppeler is the first to embrace a social platform related to incarceration. Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler stated, "I've experienced the impact of mentoring firsthand and I know it can make a real difference. I try to provide the children that I meet who have come from families of incarcerated parents with a positive light and message to let them know that the past doesn't have to define them or limit their possibilities for the future. I'm excited to collaborate with Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Ad Council to help give more children the support they need through mentorship."

Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation's largest mentoring network, carefully partners with families, volunteers and communities to help children and teens overcome adversity through one-to-one relationships that help drive achievement in school and success in life.

"We are delighted to have Miss America serve as a role model, supporting our mentees and our mission. As a donor-supported one-to-one staff supported mentoring organization, we need real reminders that mentoring can and does help children overcome adversity," said Big Brothers Big Sisters of America President and CEO Charles Pierson. "Independent studies find that when enrolled in Big Brothers Big Sisters, children who face adversity are more likely to improve in school, avoid risky/delinquent behaviors and have higher self-esteem and aspirations."

The nationwide mentoring network's Start Something® campaign, developed in partnership with the Ad Council, was introduced in January 2011 through a website redesign and national TV, radio and online public service ads. Start Something® is a call to action for donations; story sharing; volunteers; celebrity ambassador engagement and advocacy to strengthen Big Brothers Big Sisters' capacity to help children overcome adversity and achieve lifelong success. The Start Something® campaign also includes a web series on the organization's website, which follows mentors, mentees, families and professional staffers – the people who make the program work.

"The Ad Council has been working with Big Brothers Big Sisters for over a decade and with the Miss America Organization for over five years on various collaborations," said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of the Ad Council. "Laura is a powerful and impactful advocate for children, particularly given her personal story, and this collaboration is a wonderful extension of our Start Something® campaign with Big Brothers Big Sisters."

The Ad Council has previously partnered with the Miss America Organization to address issues including childhood obesity prevention, high school dropout prevention and communicating the importance of children spending time outdoors and connecting with nature.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation's largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as educational success; avoidance of risky behaviors; and higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships.  Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children ("Littles") with screened volunteer mentors ("Bigs") and monitors and supports these one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their course.  The first-ever Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Summary, released in 2012, substantiates that its mentoring programs have proven, positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth, areas linked to high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency and college or job readiness.

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity, often those of single or low-income households or families where a parent is incarcerated or serving in the military, with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.  This mission has been the cornerstone of the organization's 100-year history.  With about 350 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves nearly 630,000 children, volunteers and families. Learn how you can positively impact a child's life, donate or volunteer at BigBrothersBigSisters.org.

About the Miss America Organization
The Miss America Organization is the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women and one of the nation's leading achievement programs. Last year, the Miss America Organization and its state and local affiliates made available more than $45 million in scholarship assistance. The 2013 Miss America Competition will mark its third consecutive year on ABC.  The show will air on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 9 p.m. EST. For more information, visit www.missamerica.org

About the Ad Council
The Ad Council is a non-profit organization with a rich history of marshalling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has effected, and continues to effect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit www.adcouncil.org.

SOURCE Big Brothers Big Sisters



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