Cate Dillon, Miss DC’s Outstanding Teen 2012, recently chose JDRF, the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, as a charitable partner.
Below is JDRF’s interview with Cate, which appeared in the JDRF Capitol Chapter newsletter.
What is Miss Teen DC?
Miss Teen DC is shorthand for Miss District of Columbia’s Outstanding Teen which is the little sister program within the Miss America Organization. Miss DC’s Outstanding Teen performs a number of roles during her 12 months of service including representing the DC Organization, the National Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Organization, the young women with whom I competed last month at the national MAOT competition, and all young people my age, as well as promoting my chosen Platform Issue – JDRF – and acting as an ambassador for the official National Platform of the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Program, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Why did you pick JDRF as your charitable partner?
I selected JDRF as my charitable partner because of my passion for its cause, as well as my personal experiences with family members and close friends who daily cope with the effects of juvenile diabetes. My maternal grandmother was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when she was 7 years old and I witnessed the challenges this presented her in later life, as well as to her family and those who loved her.
I see, also, the challenges that juvenile diabetes presents in the lives of close friends and other family members and want very much to help in any way I can. I believe the public platform available to me, as Miss DC’s Outstanding Teen, offers an invaluable opportunity to help JDRF spread its message.
During your reign as Miss Teen DC, how do you plan to get involved with JDRF?
During my reign as Miss DCOT, I plan on participating in as many public events as possible where JDRF determines that my involvement could make an appreciable difference. The two most obvious events to which I am committed to participate are the annual Walk to Cure Diabetes and the Hope Gala.
To raise awareness of efforts toward finding a cure for diabetes I plan to visit schools and talk to other teens about why it is important to find a cure and what they an do to help. I will meet with health care professionals so that I can learn more about treatments, preventative factors, and what lifestyle factors are important for dealing with and preventing diabetes, and spread this message among my peers. Additionally, I would very much like to participate in efforts to lobby Congress for more funding for diabetes research. And not least, I look forward to meeting with youth advocacy groups and children living with type 1 diabetes.
Senior year of High School is a busy year, what is driving you to give some of your spare time to JDRF?
The critical nature of JDRF’s concerns drives my passion to get involved. The short amount of time during which I have a public platform available as Miss Teen DC dictates that my senior year of High School is that time – and I want to do as much as possible in the short time I have.