ANNIKA WALLANDER | FEATURES COLUMNIST
Kylie Thompson ’19
On Feb. 24, 2016 one of our very own, Kylie Thompson ’19, spoke during “3 Minutes Can Save a Life,” an event hosted in the Cassandra Voss Center basement which featured Thompson providing her insight on the National Eating Disorder Association, her title as Miss Beloit and how her title of Miss Beloit was impacted by NEDA.
Q: What is NEDA?
NEDA stands for National Eating Disorder Association. NEDA is a nonprofit organization that gives resources to those suffering from eating disorders and acts as a support system for the families and for those who are suffering from an eating disorder.
Q: What was this event about?
The theme of this event was “3 Minutes Can Save a Life.” During the event I discussed what eating disorders are and how eating disorder screenings can benefit those who think they may be at risk of developing an eating disorder. I also shared my personal story of fighting and overcoming an eating disorder and how my life story could have been rewritten had I had a resource such as the online screenings that NEDA provides.
Q: What inspired this event?
My platform within the Miss America Organization is entitled “End the Stigma: Eating Disorders and Life After Recovery.” It is the story of my eating disorder recovery, working to eliminate stigmas and stereotypes about eating disorders. It is often thought that teenage girls are the only ones who develop eating disorders.
Q: How has publically speaking on behalf of NEDA awareness impacted your future career?
I had no idea what I wanted to do in regards to my career, but once I became involved with NEDA, I knew that’s where my heart belonged. Now, my ultimate career goal is to be a part of the NEDA team in New York!
Q: What motivated you to use Eating Disorder Awareness as your platform?
I chose my platform because I’m extremely passionate about eating disorder awareness and knew that if I had the opportunity to raise awareness for a societal issue so close to my heart, I should choose that as my platform.
Q: What do you hope to see for the future of NEDA and people suffering from eating disorders?
I hope that NEDA begins to gain a lot more attention in the next few years, because if that begins to happen, they can work to save even more lives. I also hope to see more people who had suffered from eating disorders step forward and share their stories because I believe it makes recovery a lot easier and helps make you more accountable. Finally, I hope that NEDA can work to spread awareness to one of the most fatal mental illnesses out there and get resources to all that suffer from eating disorders.
Kylie Thompson, throughout the interview, answered questions that demonstrate progress, inspiration and achievement. Many students have had to move on from a rough situation, be motivated to live despite hardships and make achievements with the weight of those hardships on their backs.
Thompson suffered, overcame and built a foundation upon her Miss Beloit platform. She displays an overwhelming strength—a strength that we all here at St. Norbert should strive to have. Let us remember that although we all will encounter strife and adversities, we must live beyond them and let them be our inspiration to grow.