The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Community Spotlight

By Holly Willdrick Quill Reporter

Miss Illinois Visits La Harpe Schools

Miss Illinois, Heidi Ekstrom, visited the La Harpe students on November 7.

She spoke to the Jr. High and High School students about the Six Pillars of Character.

The first was trustworthiness. She defined this as being honest, don't deceive, cheat or steal. Have the courage to do the right thing and build a good reputation. And last be loyal.

Respect was the second pillar. Treat others with respect and follow the Golden Rule. Be tolerant of differences and don't threaten, hit or hurt anyone. Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements.

Responsibility was the next pillar. Heidi told the students to "do what you are supposed to do". Persevere, keep on trying! Always do your best, use self control and be self disciplined. Think before you act and consider the consequences.

The next pillar was fairness. Make sure the you play by the rules, be open minded, listen to others, don't take advantage of others, and don't blame others carelessly.

The fifth pillar was caring. Be kind, compassionate and show you care. Express gratitude, forgive others and help people in need.

The last pillar of character was citizenship. "Do your share to make your school and community better." Cooperate in your community and get involved. Stay informed and vote. Obey the laws and rules and respect authority. And last, protect the environment.

She also gave the students some tips on make good decisions and a few tips to help them. She told them to ask themselves these questions when faced with a decision.

"If everyone made the same decision would it be good?

"Does it follow the golden rule? "Would you want your decision printed in the paper and on the news? "Would your parents be proud?"

Students were then given a time to ask questions before she made a visits to the grade school classrooms.

Miss Illinois (Heidi) is from Mundelein and was an art education major at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb and plans to return to complete her MBA in photography.

She hopes to one day pursue a career as a photography teacher.

Her platform for her rein as Miss Illinois is:

"Enhancing the Life of Children with Disabilities."

She is partnered with Make a Wish Foundation, Best Buddies, Right Decisions Right Now, as well as the Character Counts Coalition.

She will be competing in the 2007 Miss America Pageant at the Aladdin Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada in January 2007 which will be aired on CMT.