Local teen for a different way of spending Thanksgiving this year

Alexandra Charecky, the newcomer to West Springfield, is on her way to a national pageant.

Alexandra Charecky, 14, recently named Miss Springfield in the Virginia State Finals of the National American Miss Pageant, will travel to Orlando in November to attend the National Level Pageant. Alexandra is a freshman with a 4.6 GPA at West Springfield High School. She is a competitive diver and a former XCel Gymnastics State Champion in jumping and a silver medalist on the uneven bars. She is the reigning national / regional champion in athletics for the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in pole vault and javelin throw and took part in the 2021 AAU Junior Olympic Games in Houston this summer. Despite all of these awards, Alexandra says the accomplishment she is most proud of is winning the Spokesmodel Competing in the State National American Miss Contest. Her speech, titled “Beacon of Hope and Healing,” was the first time she had the opportunity to speak publicly about the nonprofit that she founded to serve family members of military personnel and first responders struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and / or substance abuse. Alexandra’s parents are both retired Air Force Officers, and her father, who is 100% disabled, struggles with PTSD himself. Alexandra’s own experiences inspired her founding Beacon of Hope and Healing.

If a family member has PTSD or an addiction problem, the focus may be on that family member and seeking help. Alexandra believes that family members are overlooked and may have psychological problems due to their loved one’s problems such as depression, abandonment and helplessness.

To build her network of available treatment options, Alexandra has volunteered at various organizations, including the Boulder Crest Foundation and Warrior Canine Connection. They provide treatment options such as animal therapy, gardening, and family outings to military and first responder families. “Volunteering was fun and rewarding. It gave me a better understanding of the resources available to military families, ”said Alexandra. And taking part in the American Miss contest gave her the courage and ability to speak out.

In addition to the Spokesmodel competition, Alexandra will compete for the title of All American Queen and take part in nine optional competitions such as Runway and Top Model, Most Photogenic and Actress. But it’s not just about pretty dresses and crowns, NAM also encourages young girls to hone their interviewing, public speaking, and professional writing skills. So while other “normal kids” eat turkey and cake with the family at home, Alexandra will once again represent her organization and raise awareness of something that matters to her when she takes the stage at the National American Miss Pageant Thanksgiving Week. To learn more about Alexandra and her nonprofit Beacon of Hope & Healing, see: www.beaconofhopeandhealing.org.


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