Dawn Parks

Dawn Parks is a senior at Rich Township Highschool, member of the National Honors Society and Scholastic Bowl as well as an accomplished athlete in Poms, Basketball, Volleyball and Softball. Dawn is an advocate for our youth and building their self-esteem and confidence, especially in relation to their body image. She is a proud spokesperson for the Dove Self Esteem Project, and she uses their materials and messages in all of her speeches and service. This project has helped over 60 million youth worldwide build their confidence in relation to body image. Low body confidence and anxieties over appearance keep young people from being their best selves, affecting their health, friendships, and even performance at school. She expanded this initiative to create her own service platform – Stand Tall – because she was bullied for being tall, and she wants our youth to know God made us all the way we were meant to be. Short or tall, we all must stand tall in the body God gave us.

Since being crowned Miss Teen Illinois International, she has also been working with local legislators to stop gun violence and protect our youth. Gun violence is the leading cause of death and injury for teenagers in the U.S. Bullies and those being bullied are bringing guns to schools. How can Teens Stand Tall if they are scared for their lives? There is no federal anti-bullying law and better legislation for gun control and bullying is needed so kids stop dying. Dawn is honored to be featured in the 100 Black Men of America’s Young, Gifted and Black Conference and prays it leads to even more ways she can help Teens stay safe and Stand Tall.