Monday, June 13, 2005

Jr. Miss Program to Close

As a former participant in the Jr. Miss program (it is not a pageant)and Spirit of Jr. Miss winner, I was saddened to hear the news today that the Junior Miss program is officially closing. Junior Miss not only taught me to "Be My Best Self," but also provided me probably the only time in my life where I will get to wear an expensive white beaded gown. Former Jr. Misses participants include luminaries such as Diane Sawyer, Deborah Norville, Julie Moran, Debra Messing and Kim Basinger. Below, is the official notification.

The board of directors of America's Junior Miss, a premier scholarship program for young women that has presented cash scholarship awards totaling more than $87.7 million, announced yesterday that the 48-year-old program's last day of operation will be Sept. 30.

AJM was a pioneer programthat had blazed a trail that helped raise awareness of the need for scholarship opportunities for young women. The board also said it believed that because AJM had been so successful in raising that awareness, many more such opportunities exist today. We are extremely proud of all AJM has done. It has accomplished its mission at an even greater level than was probably envisioned by its founders.

However, in recent years, the program has faced difficult circumstances and that AJM had been finding it increasingly difficult to attract and retain national sponsors and also had been unsuccessful in efforts to attract the interest of a major television network. Unfortunately, AJM without television means AJM without national sponsors,

The board said it will soon begin developing a plan for closing AJM that will allow the program to end in an orderly, dignified manner and that this year's AJM National Finals will be the last. TV viewers can watch the final night of competition live on Saturday, June 25, on WKRG-TV 5 and on Monday, June 27, when it is aired by PAX TV.

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