Thursday, September 23, 2004

Beauty queen's visit inspires

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

Miss USA 2000, Lynette Cole (right) talks with Sheryce Dozier after giving a presentation to some students Wednesday at Middletown High School. Sheryce is a junior.
MIDDLETOWN - Lynette Cole tells young people to dream big, work hard and don't give up.

In a visit Wednesday to Middletown High School, the 2000 Miss USA from Tennessee told about 80 students of her early struggles - teased for being tall, having frizzy hair, for her biracial heritage and inability to do certain math problems.

"I was made fun of my whole life - then I began to blossom," said Cole, 26. The blossoming began when she focused on what she was good at - running and basketball.

Everything she has gotten in life, Cole said, was through hard work.

Her message rang true to Tiffany Campbell, a 17-year-old junior who plans to frame Cole's autograph and put it in her room.

"She really influenced me," Campbell said. "Everything she said I took to heart."

Senior Bridget Kinney, 17, said she was inspired by Cole's determination to succeed. A volunteer at the YMCA and the annual Middfest, Kinney said she came away from Cole's talk with a renewed vow to focus more on her chosen field of dentistry.

Adopted at 10 months old, Cole spent most of her life in Tennessee. Over a span of 15 years, her adoptive parents opened their home to a total of 127 foster children.

Everyone had to sit together for dinner at 6 p.m. to pray and then talk about their day.

"The neat thing was that every single kid sitting there saw themselves in her," said Middletown High Principal Dennis Newell. "It's a powerful message, seeing someone so accomplished standing up there telling you of their struggles."


UC works to keep students in school
Domestic killings surge this year
Judge testifies in drug case
Accused killer delusional, psychiatrist tells court
GOP gathers Allen's assistants
Under city pressure, Martin Bar shuts down

1 dies in Adams Co. crash; driver flees
Bank robber gets 21 years in prison
Commissioner hopefuls claim outsider status
'House parties' push need for federal education aid
Warning: Don't eat the fish
Officer's actions justified, jury told
Candidate calls for increased college aid
Clinton Co. hospital opens Warren branch
Planning board stalls swap of jail site
Kings school officials tackle new stadium in a lean year
Officer charged with hitting wife
Local news briefs
Beauty queen's visit inspires
MADD honors 'Top Cops' tonight
Stars return to old stage
Neighbors briefs
Abortion pill law blocked in Ohio
Ohio State attracting better students over last 10 years
Warning too late, Marietta complains
Public safety briefs
Four former athletes to join Hall of Fame
School seeks East Side cachet, proposes center in Indian Hill
Speakers explore situation in Iraq
Woman charged in stabbing

Bronson: Local CBS-TV affiliate feels the backlash
Walkers step up for two charities

Daniel Storer, 59, devoted to providing EMS

Clooney, Davis jab on Social Security
Parties spread teacher issues
Child's horse still missing
No classes Monday in Kenton
Action urged on paramedics
Owners want horse exhumed for tests
Union complains about Bunning ad
Dems pledge bipartisan help
N. Ky. news briefs