Growing up in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Laura Kaeppeler never dreamed that she would one day be crowned Miss America. Not only is this now a reality, she is using her newfound success to address issues that are close to her heart.
On Monday, Aug. 20, the Levittown-based Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) was invited along with agencies from New York City and New Jersey to meet Laura as she visited New York City to promote her personal platform of mentoring children of incarcerated parents.
BBBSLI Little Sisters Denisse, Keanne and Jesica were able to enjoy lunch with Miss America 2012 and to top off the event, the girls and their Big Sisters joined Laura in a private tour of Lincoln Center – and were even able to witness the “Mostly Mozart” Festival Orchestra rehearsing with new conductor Andrew Manze.
The relationship between orchestra members and the conductor is not unlike a Big Brothers Big Sisters match between a Big and a Little. It requires respect, communication and trust in order to have a positive outcome and – in the case of the orchestra – a successful performance.
Rather fittingly, as Manze was giving notes to the musicians in order for their performance to be the best that it can be, he referred to the work of Joseph Haydn – Mozart’s friend and mentor. This illustration of the power of mentoring through the ages was the perfect end to a truly memorable day.
BBBSLI Little Sisters who attended the event Monday got to see firsthand just how successful they can be despite the adversity that they face.
“I am so grateful to have gotten the once in a lifetime opportunity to meet and have a close lunch with Miss America," said Denisse, a BBBSLI Little Sister who attended with Big Sister Vanessa. "Laura is absolutely beautiful, both inside and out, and I am sincerely thankful that such a strong woman is working with Big Brothers Big Sisters.”
Incorporated in 1977, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed. BBBSLI makes meaningful, professionally supported matches between adult volunteers (‘Bigs’) and children (‘Littles’). To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island, please visit www.bbbsli.org.