With a platform aimed at stopping bullying, University of Central Florida junior Jaclyn Raulerson is one of 53 women competing this week for the Miss America crown.
The pageant finals will be televised live on ABC at 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15.
A Radio-Television broadcast journalism major from Plant City, Raulerson was selected as a finalist for the pageant’s Quality of Life Award during preliminary competitions. The awards recognize contestants who excel in their commitment to community service, and winners receive scholarships worth up to $6,000.
Raulerson was named a finalist for her personal platform, “Stop Bullying Now!,” and her involvement with the Children’s Miracle Network, the national platform of the Miss America Organization.
She has counseled more than 200 children at Tomlin Middle School in Plant City, and the school has started “ChainLinks,” a club designed to encourage a culture of kindness and help children understand the dangers of bullying.
She worked with Children’s Miracle Network President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Burt to establish “Children’s Miracle Network Day” in Plant City and St. Petersburg, and she helped to raise money for the organization by participating in UCF’s Knight-thon, a dance marathon held on campus every year.
The winners of the Quality of Life Awards will be announced on Friday, Jan. 14.
Raulerson is attempting to become the second UCF student to win the Miss America crown. Ericka Dunlap won the title in 2003. Raulerson won the Miss Florida title to qualify for the Miss America pageant.
At UCF, Raulerson is vice president for member development for her sorority, Delta Delta Delta. She is also a member of Forever Knights, Catholic Knights, the Radio-Television News Directors Association and the National Honor Society of Collegiate Scholars.
For more information, visit the 2011 Miss America Pageant website.