Miguel Juarez Middle School and the “Live Out Loud Charity” Team Up to Host, “Love the Skin You’re In” Pajama Party
The lives of over forty teen-aged girls were transformed Friday night when they attended a unique pajama party at their middle school. The “Love the Skin You’re In” Pajama Party, the dream creation of fourteen-year-old Ms. Christina Gimondo, Ms. American Elegance Teen 2012 and Official Spokesperson of the “Live Out Loud Charity”, is aimed at building self-confidence to reduce the effects of teenage bullying and depression.
Ms. Gimondo along with Ms. Sherrie Gearheart, Miss Southern Illinois, founder of the “Live Out Loud Charity”, and editor of Tiara Magazine, were joined by five other beauty pageant queens (Ms. Dawn Cook, Ms. American Elegance Lifetime; Ms. Lauren Ransom, Ms. American Elegance Woman; Ms. Kaitlin Maconowicz, Ms. Lindenhurst; and Ms. Brittany Gallarneau, Ms. NISP Supreme Star), as well as more than thirty-five volunteer staff members of the Miguel Juarez Middle School for an evening of shared stories, workshops on self-esteem, team-building, coping-skills, modeling and pageantry. Ms. Gimondo, in cooperation with Ms. Martha Carey, the school’s Social Worker, three of the building’s interns (Ms. Lindsey Landa, Ms. Sheril Phillip, and Ms. JoAnn Jacobs) and members of the counseling staff at Miguel Juarez, created this program to help girls discover their positives, as well as provide an opportunity for them to shine among their peers.
Another component of Ms. Gimondo’s event included a workshop for parents, conducted by Ms. Gearheart and Ms. Carey, which provided valuable information about local resources, as well as basic coping-tools for supporting their daughters as they enter the often difficult teenage years.
The self-esteem workshop included the crowning of each participant; along with an opportunity to walk a professional runway where each student presented a personal introduction that allowed them to publically shared their aspirations and recognize their attributes. The entire event was captured by professional photographer, Derek Tokarzewski, for a future edition of the internationally known Tiara Magazine. The program concluded with dancing to the sound of DJ Mike Mazur of Fun Times DJ.
Ms. Gimondo procured the $2000 sponsorship necessary for funding this project from Steven’s Restaurant of Gurnee, Favelli Decorating of Highland Park, Fun Times DJ of Gurnee, M. G. Painting Company of Libertyville, and Mr. Armando Martinez of Waukegan.
Requests have already been submitted to hold this event at other schools, as well as offers made to provide future sponsorship.