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Erika Harold, Miss America 2003 - "An Up and Coming New Conservative Voice"

Recorded on December 15, 2004

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

Erika Harold is Miss America 2003, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Illinois, a three-time member of the National Dean's List and is attending Harvard Law School. She hopes to pursue a career in public interest law and public policy. Though she almost quit the Miss America program, believing that officials would never elect a woman with views as conservative as hers, her persistence has paid off, not only in the pageant, but also throughout her life. She has quickly found a role as a spokesperson and lobbyist, embracing the issue of sexual abstinence and affiliating with a part of the Illinois Family Institute. In this new role, Erika promoted abstinence from all things that threaten to harm the well-being of America's teens - alcohol, drugs and sex.

A sponsor of one of her recent talks to a school said, "She was lively, positive and entertaining, yet she presented a clear and powerful message. Our students were spellbound from start to finish. Perhaps equally importantly, Erika demolished once and for all any lingering, long-standing beliefs that our students and faculty had about what the Miss America Pageant is all about. She shattered the 'it's only a beauty contest' perception with her wit, intelligence, and caring."

Coffee and light refreshments available afterwards