The Kenai Peninsula is known for investing in its youth through a myriad of scholarship programs supported by a variety of clubs, civic organizations and business community, so it's no surprise to see the return on that investment in high achieving individuals such as the reigning Miss Alaska, Christina Reasner, a Soldotna High School graduate from Sterling. "Without financial assistance there's just no way I would have been able to receive my education and I'm proud to say that the Soldotna Rotary Club was the very first scholarship that I received. They invested $2,000 into my education and from that I've been able to graduate with my Bachelors Degree with honors debt free," says Reasner.
During her undergraduate work Reasner was selected as one of 25 students across the nation to study at Oxford University in Great Britain. Then during the summer she volunteered to work in a children's home in Cambodia, "It was challenging, life changing, and a very rewarding summer. I experienced first hand what it looks like to live with absolutely nothing. I was only the 5th white person to ever enter the village where I worked and in honor of my coming, the Chief of the village presented me with the high honor of eating a tarantula. There was no way I could refuse or offend my host, so I ate my first tarantula," recalled Reasner.
As Miss Alaska the present task before Christina Reasner is preparing for the Miss America pageant this September in Atlantic City. She has been asked to raise $4,000 to cover her travel expenses to the competition and is about 25% of the way to her goal thanks to the help of Rotary Clubs and South Central Title and other business organizations, but her departure deadline approaching fast; fundraising has become her top priority. To help Reasner reach her goal of bringing home the first Miss America Crown ever to the State of Alaska, family, friends and supporters will gather at the Sterling Senior Center Friday August 27th at 7:00pm for a send off party and fund raiser. Christina will be showcasing her talent portion of the Miss America competition as well as modeling her entire wardrobe at the event. She is hopeful that her success at the Miss America pageant will help her reach her next goal of obtaining a law degree at either Georgetown or Harvard University where she has already been accepted. "I'm very proud to be representing my native State in Atlantic City," said Reasner.
The Miss America pageant will be aired September 18th on ABC. Those unable to attend the send off but interested in helping Christina may send contributions in her name to Miss Alaska scholarship program, 16823 Schroeder Dr., Eagle River, AK 99577. More information is also available at www.missalaskapageant.com.
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