children of prisoners

Miss America Uses Platform for Kids of Prisoners

RNS photo courtesy The Miss America Organization

Miss America Laura Kaeppeler meets with children from the U.S. Dream Academy. RNS photo courtesy The Miss America Organization

Laura Kaeppeler has a fantasy gig: traveling nonstop, wearing stylish new outfits each day and attracting TV crews in every city she visits as Miss America 2012.

But the glamorous appearances go for a most unglamorous cause. As someone who saw her father hauled off to prison for a white collar crime, Kaeppeler uses her high-profile platform to shine a spotlight on the 2.7 million, largely unseen kids who have an incarcerated parent.

"I feel like I've been called to do this," said Kaeppeler, a 24 year old from Kenosha, Wis. "I believe my life was pre-written and predestined by a higher power before I was born. ... What happened in my past is part of that, and (being) Miss America is part of that."