Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

June 8, 2014

Miss Indiana is motivated by her past

A horrible criminal act perpetrated on her could have pushed Mekayla Diehl down a dark path. But through her personal strength, faith and courage, she has moved on and will represent Elkhart County and Indiana tonight in the Miss USA contest as Miss Indiana. We so want her to win.

Since becoming Miss Indiana, Diehl has made it her mission to help children in trouble by working through Bashor Children’s Home in Goshen. She knows about trouble at a young age. When she was 8 a trusted family friend sexually abused her at her Union, Michigan home. Because her parents were dysfunctional at the time due to drug abuse, the perpetrator wasn’t prosecuted and she did not receive the support and help she needed.

Then others stepped in who cared. She and her brother were adopted by Katie Stauffer of Bristol. She became active in many events and especially liked to dance. Then she decided to try participating in pageants. She found her calling. Diehl has been Miss Bristol Homecoming Queen, Miss Elkhart County 4-H Fair, Miss Elkhart County, the runner-up in the Miss America Miss Indiana pageant and then captured the Miss Indiana Miss USA crown.

Along her journey her parents have improved their lives and have reconciled with Diehl. By the way, Diehl is a Native American and a win by her would be a cultural first in the Miss USA pageant.

All of this information she has posted on her Facebook page. This public telling of her story will surely help other young people who have been victimized and wonder just how they can find peace and a way forward.

Tonight Diehl will compete in Baton Rouge, La. for the national title.

While Diehl certainly possesses the necessary physical qualities to wear the crown, we think her personal journey and how she has overcome a great obstacle and embraced the troubles of others, is certainly worth every judge’s vote.

Beauty truly is more than skin deep.

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Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
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