Miss Auburn 2019 Amanda Enz
Name: Amanda Enz
Title: Miss Auburn
Hometown: Auburn, Washington
Education: Pacific Lutheran University
Scholastic/Career Ambition: B.A. in Business with a concentration on Marketing
Social Impact Statement:
My sophomore year of high school I experienced my first panic attack. I had a dance commitment and school commitment on the same night, and having to choose between the two caused me to panic. I have learned since then, and into high school, that I experience stress and anxiety about pleasing others. I have always been a busy young woman. Juggling school, dance, various leadership roles, jobs, and a social life are just a few of the things I worry about every day and have dealt with since high school. After the jarring panic attack, I realized I needed to get a handle on my stress levels and find healthy outlets to cope.
Knowing that many of my peers were feeling the same pressures, I started a campaign in high school called “Stress Less” where a group of students and I researched various ways to cope with stress and educate others. I knew that I was not the only student in my school experiencing this stress, so it was important for me to not only learn what worked for myself, but to also help those in my community deal with stress. Although I have been out of high school for two years now, I still mentor a group of students at my former high school so they can continue to spread this message of “stressing less.”
I have successfully headed the “Stress Less Week” in Auburn for four years and the Mayor of Auburn now proclaims it annually. Throughout Stress Less Week, I mentor students and share alternative ways of dealing with stress by hosting different events each school day. Activities include coloring mandalas, petting animals such as dogs or bunnies, getting exercise, or practicing yoga or meditation. It is so fascinating to see how each activity affects people differently! The topic of coping with stress is very relevant and got the attention of our local media who published an article about adolescent stress. The author wrote about my Stress Less project, the activities I host, as well as a few ways people can cope with their stress. The newspaper and social media are great resources I have at my fingertips that I am excited to utilize more of with my title as Miss Auburn, but even more as Miss Washington.
As a college student, I have expanded my project to Pacific Lutheran University, joining the Residence Hall Council where a group of volunteers hosts events for the residents of the dorm. We have hosted study events, provided snacks for finals week, and have created mini “care packages” to hand out to each resident of the hall with things such as a stress ball, gum, a mini coloring book, and more. I also work with the RAs of my residence hall to plan events for the wings regarding stress and anxiety surrounding final exams and more.
Through this project and with my title as Miss Auburn, I have been able to connect with a local group of healthcare professionals who lead a Blue Ribbon Committee dedicated to discussing mental and the negative impact it has on teens. I am honored to be featured in a video initiative called Teen R.E.A.D.Y, which discusses teen stress and mental illness in high school students, and this video will be distributed nationwide. Through my involvement with this committee, I have learned that the number of high school students in Washington who feel stressed, overwhelmed, or anxious is rising and they don’t know how to deal with it. These students have little-to-no conversations about stress or mental health in schools. This is why this initiative is so vital.
Auburn’s Outstanding Teen 2019 Austin Douglas
Name: Austin Douglas
Title: Miss Auburn’s Outstanding Teen
Hometown: Lakewood, Washington
Education: Bellarmine Preparatory School
Platform Issue: Children’s Cancer
Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death of children by disease in the United States, yet the FDA has not approved a new treatment drug for over 20 years to treat these forms of cancer. Of the more than $5.74 billion dollars of federal funding appropriated for cancer research each year, less than four percent, or four cents on the dollar, is designated for pediatric cancers.
These unsettling statistics are the very reason I am passionate about advocating for the health of our children — our future. They are more than numbers to me. They are part of my own family’s story.
In 2006, my sister was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma at two months old. Thanks to the amazing doctors, nurses, and researchers at Seattle Children’s Hospital, my sister is still here today. My entire family has learned so much throughout her experience, and even though she no longer has cancer, she does have long-term side effects.
Sadly, not every child has had the same outcome as my sister. I have been honored to have met and fall in love with so many little fighters that have passed away. It’s devastating seeing the effects this horrible disease has on children and their families.
That is why I have made it my mission to help Seattle Children’s, Strong Against Cancer, and Children’s Miracle Network any way that I can.
The best way I know how to do this is by sharing my own family’s story and educating our community about the long-term side effects that cancer can have on children. Sharing my sister’s journey is healing for me, but it is all the more powerful knowing that it can help others.
In my role as Miss Auburn’s Outstanding Teen, I plan to share how these organizations have supported my sister, our family, and numerous others throughout their journeys. I am very proud that in my work as an advocate, I have been asked to speak at an event that raised enough money to bring a top researcher from California to Seattle Children’s Hospital. In the last five years since his arrival, he has overseen a clinical trial that has changed the outcomes of over 150 children from terminal to cancer free. I also spoke at the American Girl fashion show which raised $60,000 from the “Raise the Paddle” after my speech.
I love my role as Miss Auburn’s Outstanding Teen and the many new doors it has opened for me in sharing this message with organizations, government agencies and school classrooms about the mission of Strong Against Cancer and teaching that even leftover “Change can make Change!” The hospital always has needs – large and small. Toiletries, blankets, new toys and books all make a difference in the lives of these young children.
As Miss Washington’s Outstanding Teen, I will collaborate and motivate the community to take part in Children’s Miracle Network and Strong against Cancer by encouraging large businesses to donate and match funds. I am connected, committed, eager and prepared to take this platform and message to our state and national levels.
Stand with me and unite, because everyone can make a difference!