Conference praises inner beauty
It's going to be a "good old-fashioned" lesson in family values this weekend at a teenage purity conference sponsored by a military wife from Leavenworth.
The Super Model Conference, which is religious based and focuses on teaching young girls about self-worth and abstinence, is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, in Platte City, Mo.
Sheri Prescott, the organizer of the event, said she started putting on similar conferences five years ago as a way to give young women a place to surround themselves with positive peers that can help them make better choices for their lives.
"I want a girl to leave feeling good about who she is," Prescott said, "to know that no one else on Earth is like her and feeling equipped to make right choices."
Since the age of 18, Prescott has been speaking at religious events. When she was crowned Miss Iowa in 1997, she began visiting schools to get her message of self-value out.
"I look at the crown as a door opener," she said. "It gives you a voice and chance to develop a platform."
Since then, Prescott has gone on to write two books - "How to be a Super Model: A Guide to Inner Beauty" and "The Young Lady Who Wanted More" - and to organize conferences wherever her husband's military career takes her.
She's now here in Leavenworth County and plans to use Saturday's conference to provide a fun but important lesson to many girls that Prescott said are growing up in a world where they don't see the good inside themselves.
"The outside always changes. It's the inner beauty that really lasts," Prescott said.
Lessons like these and others that stress abstinence and virtue will be taught through speakers sharing personal stories as well as skits put on by other teenagers. Prescott said she liked to have teens involved in the teaching because the goal is not to "preach" to the girls but help them understand themselves and their beliefs.
Prescott has invited Ashley Reynolds, a young Christian contemporary recording artist, to perform at the event and speak to the girls in attendance. Later in the day, the girls will be divided into smaller groups for a more intimate question-and-answer session.
Through the conference, Prescott said she hoped to paint a bigger picture about life. She said she tells the story of her grandmother creating a hope chest when she was a young lady and how that helped her resist temptations because she had thought about what she truly wanted from life.
"Most teens are so focused on the now," Prescott said, "that some don't realize their choices have consequences."
Mothers and female youth leaders are also welcome to attend the event. Prescott said every parent should want to foster good values in their children and the conference would give them a chance to understand just how much a teenager faces these days.
She said teenagers have changed a lot in the past 50 years and many have seen more in their 12 years than some adults who are 50. Because of this, Prescott focuses much of the conference on new beginnings.
Many of the attendees have had abortions or given a baby up for adoption, she said, but those girls also deserve to know that they shouldn't be ashamed and that they still have value.
"Many girls just want to know someone cares," she said.
Even though there is a strong religious base to the conference, Prescott said it was nondenominational. She expects anywhere from 200 to 300 area teens to attend.
Tickets can be purchased before the event for $10 by calling (866) 297-2820 or by visiting the Web site sheriprescott.com. Tickets will also be sold at the door for $15. The conference will be at the Christ Chapel Main Sanctuary, 15275 Highway 92, Platte City, Mo.