My Platform - Choose Happiness

“One person can make a difference. And, everyone should try.”
-  John F. Kennedy
            This is one of my favorite quotes. I have it hanging on my refrigerator in the kitchen.  I like it because it reminds me that we can all pitch in and make a small change. But if we put everything in and really work hard, that is when we will REALLY make a difference!  We need to put our all into everything we do. Then, only then, will we make a change.
            If you have already read some of my blogs, you will know that my platform is “Choose Happiness.”  This year, as Junior Miss Teen North Dakota International 2017, I hope to take a few steps towards making a difference in the lives of others. I strive to do this by doing community service work and talking at a number of difference organizations.

During my presentations, I talk about personal happiness. This includes eating a balanced diet, taking care of your body, and exercising daily. It also includes giving yourself positive self-talk, and making positive and healthy life choices. 
The other part of choosing happiness I talk about is making the lives of other people happy. This can be done by living by the Golden Rule, volunteering your time to help others, not bullying, and loving your neighbor as yourself.
I chose my platform partly because my friend was being bullied. I noticed that she was NOT happy but there was nothing that I could do except try to cheer her up and tell trusted adults what was happening.  One day, a pageant titleholder came to visit our school and talked about her platform of anti-bullying.  After her talk, my friend was not bullied anymore and she started to choose happiness again.  I realized that my friend wasn’t the only person who felt this way. There were too many others. I knew right then that my message would become “Choose Happiness” and I had to spread it everywhere I could.
I have made it a top priority to do volunteer work whenever I can. Winning the pageant has made it a little easier to share my platform with others and I can talk about happiness whenever the opportunity comes up. 

Some of the places I volunteer include The American Heart Association, Angel Tree, the Salvation Army, the United Way, Make a Wish Foundation, Operation Christmas Child, my church and many other charities.   

While I may not be able to speak to everyone across the great state of North Dakota, one of the goals of my year is to leave something behind wherever I go. I have wonderful sticky notes that I leave in various places that remind people to Choose Happiness. I write kind and encouraging messages on the sticky notes. Then, I stick them on windows, mirrors, lockers, desks, computers, refrigerators…WHEREVER I can leave them! I’m hoping that when someone sees the note, it puts a smile on their face and they stop to think about all of the great things in their life and how they can help make the lives of others better. I encourage you to pick up a pack of sticky notes…and start writing! Help spread smiles by leaving someone an encouraging note!
Please help me spread happiness by being kind to your neighbor and to yourself – today, tomorrow, and every day after that!
Alexis Thompson
Junior Miss Teen North Dakota International 2017

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