Miss America Laura Kaeppeler knows the importance of focusing on at-risk kids firsthand. When she was in high school, her father spent a year in jail for a white-collar crime. The guidance of two teachers helped her during that difficult time, and now she’s teaming up with Big Brothers, Big Sisters to encourage others to be mentors.
"My personal platform advocates for children who have parents in prison and that really stems from a personal experience of mine and mentoring goes hand in hand with that," Kaeppeler says. "When I look back at when I experienced that and without a few key mentors in my life I certainly wouldn't be the woman I am today... I highly doubt – let alone Miss America. Kaeppeler says she has been "really honored" to be a spokesperson for Big Brothers Big Sisters and "encourage not only myself, these children throughout my year but other people."
Kaeppeler's mission is not only to encourage children whose parents are also serving time but to inspire other adults to become mentors and help empower at-risk kids as well.
Singer Chaka Khan, a 10-time Grammy Award-winning singer, is helping women live their dreams.
Last year, Khan launched a mentoring program to help women in the New Orleans area with financial and employment needs. The "Superlife Transformation Program" helped a group of chosen women accomplish their goals, from starting their own business to finishing school. Next month at the Essence Music Festival, she will salute the 33 women who will graduate from the program.
Khan talks with Soledad this morning on "Starting Point" with an update on the status of these remarkable women.