Walk on – Helping Children with Autism through Horseback Riding

January 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

Kelly Dillard is a psychology major at the University of Texas. Through the Miss Texas organization, the beauty pageant titleholder has been heavily involved in various philanthropic initiatives and community projects. One of the organizations that Kelly Dillard supports is Walk On, a therapeutic riding and learning center located in Celina, Texas.

The main aim of Walk On is to help children on the autism spectrum to open up and reach their full potential. This is done through supervised horseback riding, listening, reading, spelling, and social interaction, which are used in conjunction with a child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals as advised by his or her teacher.

Volunteers are encouraged to help out, especially with Walk On’s therapeutic horseback riding program, which the organization has been providing since 2003. Those who want to help in taking care of the horses or assisting the classes can sign up at http://www.therapyriding.com/volunteer.


Lone Star Princess Program – Creating Volunteers and Beauty Queens

January 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

Beauty pageant titleholder Kelly Dillard is an activist at heart. Apart from working with various charities and non-profits in her community, the University of North Texas psychology student has also been a champion for children’s issues such as raising awareness about autism and bullying prevention. As part of her advocacy work, Kelly Dillard has volunteered much of her time as a mentor to young girls in the Miss Texas Lone Star Princess Program.

The Miss Texas Lone Star Princess Program connects young girls from age five to 12 with local pageant titleholders who serve as their mentors. The program introduces these girls to the ideals of the Miss America Organization and teaches them grace, etiquette, and poise; it also instills in them the importance of community service. The mentors are encouraged to take their Princesses to community projects and give talks to their schools about their platform issues.

The next Miss Texas Lone Star Princess Program will start in April of next year. Parents who are interested in signing their daughters up can visit the program’s event page at www.misstexas.org.

Tips for Cancer Caregivers

December 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

Kelly Dillard, a psychology student at the University of North Texas who is also a beauty pageant contestant, supports several good causes. One nonprofit to which Kelly Dillard devotes herself is the Cancer Support Community of North Texas. The organization acknowledges that cancer affects not only the person with the disease but his or her friends and family. It has compiled a list of suggestions for caregivers:

-Find a support network for yourself. Other people with similar experience can help you through feelings of loneliness and stress. Many in-person and online groups exist for this purpose.

-Adopt stress management strategies. Many people find comfort in meditation, yoga, art, or breathing deeply. These and other practices not only calm you down but strengthen your immune system.

-Accept offers of help. Many people offer to assist, but aren’t sure how. Make a list of favors, small or big, that others can do for your loved one and yourself.

-Finally, realize your limits. Everyone in your position feels overwhelmed sometimes. Admitting you can’t do it all helps you and your loved one.

Kelly Dillard – The Benefits of Physical Activity

December 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

Currently a student at the University of North Texas, Kelly Dillard has participated in beauty pageants in and around north Texas for many years. As a contestant, Kelly Dillard enjoyed a successful career, selecting various causes to use as the subject of her pageant platform, including helmet safety, bullying, and physical fitness.

A few of the benefits of regular physical activity follow.

Better sleep habits. By helping individuals fall asleep faster and more deeply, regular physical activity promotes better-regulated sleep patterns. However, experts caution against exercising too close to bedtime as this may have the opposite effect.

Disease prevention. Continuous physical activity can help prevent and reduce the risk of a number of diseases and unhealthy conditions, including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some forms of cancer.

Weight control. Regular exercise can help tremendously with weight loss and weight control. Experts suggest turning everyday activities into some form of exercise, such as taking the stairs rather than the elevator, or completing household chores at an increased rate of speed.

Kelly Dillard – Q&A on Entering a Beauty Pageant

November 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

A longtime beauty pageant participant, Kelly Dillard has earned the titles of Miss North Texas, Miss West Texas Outstanding Teen, and Miss Ft. Worth Outstanding Teen. Beyond her pageant activities, Kelly Dillard actively supports charitable organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Walk-On, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Question: What is the first step to take to enter a beauty pageant?

Before entering pageants on the state or national level, potential contestants should first consider entering a local pageant. Smaller in size and in venue, local pageants will help contestants become accustomed to being in front of an audience and hopefully overcome stage fright.

Question: How should one prepare for a pageant?

Contestants should make sure they understand all the requirements before entering the pageant, including pageant fees, talent categories, clothing, and judging criteria. Some pageants are more glamorous, while others take a less ostentatious, more natural approach.

Question: What are a few suggestions for clothing?

Experts recommend wearing clothing that is age appropriate. For girls age 13 through 16, a knee-length dress or gown with heels is acceptable. For those over the age of 16, a gown with heels is recommended. Experts recommend choosing any color for the gown but black.

Recent Study Reports Most Teens Do Not Drink

November 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

High school graduate Kelly Dillard is an active member in her community and contributes to a number of charitable causes. Among one of Kelly Dillard’s main areas of focus is Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD, which leads the fight against teen drinking and drunk driving.

Although drinking is a problem with millions of teens across the country, a recent study conducted by MADD shows that most students actually do not consume alcohol. The survey reported that 7.4 percent of teens sometimes drink more than four drinks at a time, 15.2 percent drink but never more than four drinks at a time, 8.1 percent reported having consumed alcohol in the past but no longer do, and 69.3 percent do not drink at all.

When students were asked the reasons for not drinking, the top answer given was that it was illegal. Other reasons included alcohol’s negative effect on health and grades. At the end of the list were reasons such as parents not approving and not desiring to behave like others that drink.

Helmet Safety – Choosing the Correct Helmet

November 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

Currently a University of North Texas student, Kelly Dillard has been active in school functions and other extracurricular activities. In addition to participating on the university dance team for two years, she has been a successful beauty pageant contestant. In her pageant appearances, Kelly Dillard strives to raise awareness about public health issues, such as helmet safety.

Wearing a safety helmet is important in activities where the head is vulnerable to injury, such as cycling and in-line skating. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), bike accidents kill over 800 people annually and injure another 544,000. Because helmets absorb a substantial portion of the impact in an accident, the AAOS estimates that they lower the risk of serious head or brain injury that may cause death or permanent disability by 85 percent.

When shopping for a helmet, consumers should select one that complies with the standards issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission or the even stricter standards formulated by the Snell Memorial Foundation. Since helmets are designed specifically for each sport, individuals will require different helmets when they play different sports. Helmets worn during a previous accident should be discarded because the interior polystyrene cushioning may be damaged.

The proper helmet fits snuggly on an adult or a child. Unlike clothing, parents should buy their child a helmet that fits now and not a size that they will grow into. To select the best-fitting helmet, individuals should comparison shop before deciding on a helmet. Second, the chinstrap should fit comfortably snug around the ear and under the chin to keep the helmet stable. The buckle should be replaced immediately if it breaks. A third criterion is that the helmet should be straight and fit squarely on the head and low on the forehead. It should not tilt sideways, nor should it slide backwards or too far forward. Fourth, shoppers should seek a certification sticker from the Snell Foundation or the Consumer Product Safety Commission.