Miss Nevada to raise awareness of sex crimes | NevadaAppeal.com

Miss Nevada to raise awareness of sex crimes

Sharlene Irete
Nevada Appeal News Service

Instead of coasting through her last few months as Miss Nevada 2009, Christina Keegan will be participating in fundraising events that involve being in three states in three days and jumping out of an airplane.

Keegan, 24, is raising money for Speak Out Against Rape by being a part of Skydiving for Sexual Assault, and will skydive in Moab, Utah, on April 24.

“SOAR has an annual event called Operation Free Fall, A Two-Mile Stand Against Sexual Assault,” said Keegan. “The organization has drop zones all around the U. S. and I’m the main jumper at the Moab drop zone. I’m a first-time jumper so I’ll jump with a partner.

“I always wanted to do skydiving,” she said. “This gives me a chance to connect with something fun while doing my platform (of Strength Over Silence: Rape Education and Recovery.)

“Each jumper is required to raise at least $1,000. The money goes to local rape crisis centers – the money I raise stays in the state.”

Her other fundraising events include a trip to Las Vegas for celebrity charity poker at Caesar’s, playing with other famous redheads, Carrot Top and Adam Savage from the Discovery Channel’s “MythBusters” on April 23. The next day after she jumps in Moab, she’ll be in San Francisco for a sexual assault awareness event.

Keegan will be Miss Nevada until Miss Nevada 2010 is crowned on July 3 .

“It’s funny that my first day of freedom will be July 4, Independence Day,” she said.

“After the Miss America contest in January, I asked myself, ‘What do I want to do?’ I’m very young, but I need to do something. I’d go crazy with too much time on my hands. I have to keep myself occupied.”

Her plans are to take a break from medical school and apply for the Peace Corps. Her medical training and knowledge of the Spanish language are just what the Peace Corps is looking for.

“I was the youngest one in my medical school class,” Keegan said. “The other students were around 30, already had families and careers and decided to go back to school. That made me think about the Peace Corps.

“This is a great opportunity for me. I’m not married. I don’t have a commitment to a house or school. It’s a chance to do something significant.”

The Peace Corps requires a 27-month commitment – three months of training and two years in the country assigned to the volunteer workers. The Peace Corps will give her an assignment in January 2011 and she has 10 days to commit.

“You’re allowed to make a preference, but you have to commit to where they send you,” she said. “With my Spanish and experience with HIV/AIDS outreach, Central America and Africa would be my preferences, but I’ll go wherever they send me. It’s the perfect time to do this.”

April 21 is National Denim Day, Sexual Assault Awareness Day. “In 1998, the Italian court overruled a case because the victim was wearing tight jeans,” said Christina Keegan. “Every year on April 21 people are encouraged to wear jeans to raise awareness for victims’ rights.”


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