Miss WCU 2008, senior theatre major, Jackie Chilcote, will be competing for the title of Miss Philadelphia 2009 on March 28. She will use a vocal performance as her talent, while speaking on her platform “Child Sexual Abuse, Awareness and Prevention.”Chilcote has been working for this platform for many years now.
“Child sexual abuse, awareness and prevention are issues that need to be talked about. It’s something that not many people talk about, but there are ways to stop it,” Chilcote said.
Chilcote found out that her cousins had been sexually and physically abused and neglected, this is the cause she has chosen to fight for. She volunteers her time at her mother’s place of employment, the Office of Protecting God’s Children, the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese. Every year this young woman volunteers at Race to Stop the Silence in Washington, D.C.
During her reign as Miss WCU 2008, Chilcote held a benefit show to stop the silence and raise money right here on campus. Currently she is preparing for the second annual production, a big variety show and silent auction. Chilcote was able to collect donated items from the community last year and in conjunction with the event raised 1,000 dollars. This year the event will be held in April.
Chilcote said, “Now I have a better handle on how everything works. I’m hoping for the event to be bigger and to raise more money than last year.”
Chilcote would like to use the idea of her benefit here at the University and bring it into the professional world. She would like to rally the arts in Philadelphia to come and work together for such a great cause.
She also plans on getting out into the community and teaching young children about their bodies. She believes it is important that they learn what is and is not appropriate, as well as who to tell if they need help.
Chilcote said, “I would like to go into the schools and talk to the children about these issues, especially to the children who don’t receive these talks at home.”
In order to prepare for the Miss Philadelphia 2009 pageant, Chilcote began with her audition in January, a contestants’ dinner, creating her Me Portfolio listing all of her accomplishments, developing one essay about what community service means to her and a second on how she will market her platform in Philadelphia, and of course practicing her song and going to the gym.
Chilcote is receiving a lot of support from the Miss WCU family as well as other close friends.
“I’ve had so many people helping me throughout the Miss Philadelphia pageant process. A former Miss Pennsylvania is helping me. I’ve been really fortunate because so many people have be so supportive,” Chilcote.
This young woman wants the title of Miss Philadelphia 2009 so that she can make an even greater impact on the lives of others. She was surprised by the impact that she was able to make on people during her reign as Miss WCU 2008. Being able to make such a large impact on people has been such a great experience for Chilcote that she wants to take those same experiences to a larger audience.
“The title of Miss Philadelphia 2009 would give my platform a microphone and so much life. It would elevate my platform 10,000 times.”
Jackie Aliotta is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with minors in business, technical writing, and Spanish. She can be reached at JA609350@wcupa.edu.