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Miss America 2010 to Give Keynote Talk at 3rd Annual Conference for Girls and Young Women

Caressa Cameron, Miss America 2010, will be the keynote speaker at the 3rd Annual Conference for Girls and Young Women, sponsored by Old Dominion University's Community Development Corporation (ODU CDC).

Cameron, national goodwill ambassador for Children's Miracle Network, will speak at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 21, in Webb Center.

The theme of this year's Conference for Girls and Young Women is "Personalizing the Journey: Health and Wellness for the Powerful You."

E. Ann Grandy, executive director of the ODU CDC, said the theme is an important one today, with young women getting bombarded with messages - many of them unhealthy - from television and magazines.

"You have everyone from first lady Michelle Obama on down, speaking about the need for young women to develop a healthy body image," Grandy said. "But with all these other negative messages they receive - I can't believe there's actually a show that glorifies teen pregnancy - we want to give young women and their families tools they can use to combat this."

The conference includes free interactive workshops for girls and young women, and their parents. Session topics include positive body image, skin care, etiquette and managing finances, something that Grandy said young women can't learn early enough. "Part of complete health is financial health," she said.

More than 400 participants are expected at the third annual conference, which is free and open to girls and young women ages 10 to 18, and their parents. "This is an event we're very proud of," Grandy said. "This free conference was developed to educate and empower young women to become productive citizens. For one day, participants will be exposed to people, ideas and opportunities that will build leadership skills, facilitate career development and promote active and healthy lifestyles."

Cameron, who is currently pursuing a degree in broadcast journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University, is an advocate for AIDS research and awareness, in addition to being a professional model and singer. Through her personal involvement in the program Real Talk: AIDS in America, she has helped raise $50,000 for AIDS research and relief.

ODU's CDC was created to engage in a variety of activities primarily intended to revitalize communities surrounding the campus, develop opportunities for area residents, improve physical conditions of the neighborhoods, improve the lives of area residents and support ODU's community development interests.

ODU's CDC board of directors includes representation from local neighborhoods, civic leagues and churches, as well as from city government, businesses and public schools.

Sponsors for the event include Bank of America, Wachovia - A Wells Fargo Company, TowneBank, SunTrust Bank, State Farm Insurance, HineTurner, the Urban League of Hampton Roads, McPhillips Roberts & Deans, The Virginian-Pilot and Old Dominion University.

Online registration for the Conference for Girls and Young Women begins Friday, April 1. For more information or to register, visit the ODU CDC website at www.odu.edu/ao/cdc.

For more information, or to volunteer for the Conference, email cdc@odu.edu, or call 757-683-6657.

This article was posted on: May 19, 2011

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