Lane DeGregory of the Tampa Times spent some time with Eleana Frangedis, a Florida 18-year-old who is the reigning Miss Teen America. As part of her duties, Frangedis visited Camp E-Nini-Hassee, a facility for at-risk girls in the deep woods of rural Florida. She was touched by the girls' invitation to return and spend more time with them.
DeGregory writes: "So on a drizzly Tuesday in April, Eleana packed a backpack with shampoo and conditioner, jeans and bug spray, and new shorts from T.J. Maxx. Usually, it takes her three hours to get ready, but that morning, she was out the door in less than an hour. No jewelry, no makeup, no curling iron. This time, she left her satin sash at home."
There's a twist in this well-written tale.
During the visit, one camper:
asked about Eleana's parents. Eleana's relationship with her father was so strained that they hadn't spoken in a year. Just the day before, she had gone to court, dropped his last name and taken her mother's maiden name, Loulourgas. Eleana told her campmate, "They split up when I was 2, but I've always been caught in their divorce. They have been to court 160 times."The girl who had been beaten by a drug dealer shook her head and said, "That must be so hard."
The entire article is here.