Miss America to Visit Portland to Support Children of Incarcerated Parents

Portland, OR (PRWEB) October 15, 2012

Pathfinders of Oregon, in partnership with the Clackamas County Children of Incarcerated Parents Committee and the Black United Fund, is bringing Laura Kaeppeler, Miss America 2012, to Portland on November 13, 2012, for two events to raise awareness of and funds for the support of children of incarcerated parents.

Laura Kaeppeler, Miss America 2012, has a personal understanding of the shame, pain and difficulties faced by children of incarcerated parents; her father was sentenced to eighteen months in prison as she was entering high school. Over the years reigning Miss Americas have showcased many important causes, but Miss Kaeppeler is the first one to champion a platform related to criminal justice. Laura has spoken out across the country in support of mentoring programs and other services to support children of incarcerated parents and their families.

Children of incarcerated parents are an invisible population, and tragically, there is no one agency responsible for their welfare, said Laura in her platform statement after her crowning as Miss Wisconsin in 2011. During that time, I experienced emotions of isolation and anger due to the vast publicity this situation was given in my home town. Because of this experience, it has become my mission in life to help children overcome this adversity while understanding they are not alone and must never give up on themselves.

Laura will be the featured speaker at a luncheon, A Voice for Invisible Children, presented by Pathfinders of Oregon and the Clackamas County Children of Incarcerated Parents Committee at the Ambridge Event Center. Multnomah County Commission Chair, Jeff Cogan, will be the master of ceremonies. Martha Schrader, Clackamas County Commissioner Elect, will present Laura with the Debbie Martson Award. Tickets are $ 35 and proceeds from the event will support services for children of incarcerated parents in Multnomah and Clackamas Counties.

The evening gala at which Laura will speak, Brighter Futures for Invisible Children, is presented by the Black United Fund and Pathfinders of Oregon. The event will take place at the Wieden+Kennedy offices and will feature Tony Hopson of Self Enhancement, Inc. as a special guest. Tickets are $ 100 and proceeds will support college application preparation and scholarships for children of incarcerated parents across the Portland Metro region.

We are excited and honored that Miss America will be sharing her time and her story with our community, said Sharon Darcy, Executive Director of Pathfinders of Oregon. We hope it will raise awareness of the challenges these children face and focus us all on ensuring they have the opportunity to flourish.

Pathfinders of Oregon works with criminal justice involved individuals and families in Oregons prisons and in the community to break the cycle of criminality. Through its Center for Family Success, Pathfinders helps justice involved families reunite and works with parents to develop the tools they need to help their children grow into healthy, engaged adults.

The Clackamas County Children of Incarcerated Parents Committee works collaboratively to provide resources and advocacy for children, youth and families impacted by the justice system and bring greater awareness and education to communities. Its current initiatives include parent education, youth service case management and strengthening collaborative efforts among service agencies.

The Black United Fund works to assist in the social and economic development of Oregon’s low-income communities and to contribute to a broader understanding of ethnic and culturally diverse groups. The Black United Fund offers mentoring, scholarship and college admission essay workshops, and scholarships to deserving youth.

For information or to purchase tickets, contact Pathfinders of Oregon at 503-892-5396.

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