A third grade teacher at New Central Elementary School in Havana, Illinois is not only spending her time trying to influence and change the lives of her twenty-one third graders, but is also trying to better the lives of children in the United States and across the globe.
Back in January of 2012, Jennifer Roskelley, 27, noticed an advertisement on Facebook about a contest sponsored by maurices, a popular women’s clothing store, that was seeking “real girls in all sizes” throughout the country to become the next 12 maurices Main Street Models of 2012. “My first thought was ‘Yeah, right. Me? A model?’” But when Roskelley read on about the contest and discovered that the grand prize was to not only be a model for maurices clothing, but more importantly receive $7,500 to give back to a charity of choice, she realized that this was more than just some lottery-like contest; instead, this was something she was determined to win.
Roskelley was required to write, in 500 words or less, how her hometown influenced the person she was today, why she would want to become a maurices model, and what charity she would choose and why. Mrs. Roskelley chose St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, whose mission is “to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.”
“Children have been a part of my life since I can remember,” says the small-town educator. “They were a part of me then, they are a part of me now, and they will be a part of me for the rest of my life. I will do whatever I can to lead them, to protect them, and to make sure that they are taken care of. God blesses us with children to be a light in our lives, and to me, they are my sunshine.”
The Main Street Model Contest runs from February 27, 2012 until April 23, 2012. The contest consists of three rounds:
• Round 1: Online Voting – Voters help determine the top 100 contestants who will move on to the next round.
• Round 2: Video Submissions – The top 100 contestants will create and submit a video explaining why they should be maurices next Main Street Model (this will be voted on by a panel of judges).
• Round 3: Casting Call - Top 20 finalists are brought to Minneapolis, Minn., for a casting call with a panel of judges that includes Christopher Straub from Season Six of Lifetime's Project Runway.
On April 23, the top 12 winners will be announced as the new maurices Main Street Models of 2012.
Although competing against over 1,500 other girls to get through just the first round of voting, Roskelley is determined to win. “The thought of giving $7,500 back to St. Jude completely overrides the fact that I am going up against tons of other girls with the same mindset as myself. Knowing that what I do could result in saving at least one child’s life brings more joy and satisfaction to my soul than what seems imaginable.”
If you would like to help Jennifer get through her first round of the contest, you can simply go online and vote at: http://www.mauricesmainstreetmodel.com/2361/jennifer-roskelley OR simply go to www.mauricesmainstreetmodel.com and search for Jennifer Roskelley and click on “VOTE” to enter. Voters can place their vote once every 24 hours until March 19th, and will receive a maurices coupon each time a vote is placed.
*Roskelley will also be running in the Mason City to Peoria St. Jude run on July 21st in which she is required to raise at least $750 in order to participate in the 47-mile journey.