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Clermont's Jodi Campbell, the reigning National America Miss Florida, is heading off to California next week to face challengers from 49 other states, but not before making a difference in children's lives.

Campbell had a mission; to change the life of just one child by teaching or giving them something they never had before.

To her surprise, Campbell's initiative affected dozens of lives in a positive way. The Clermont woman followed her family's creed of "each one, teach one." By doing so the positive factor multiplies.

Her parents also instilled the value of "being human." They taught her to see from another person's life. "Hurt with them, be happy with them," was the lesson. Understand what others are going through.

So Campbell set out to make a difference by starting a contest called "Write 4 Safety" in cooperation with the Clermont Police Department. Five local elementary schools chose to be part of the contest.

 The contest, an initiative of Campbell and the police department's community policing and traffic-safety unit, was conceived to teach children about traffic safety, especially when it comes to pedestrians and bike riders.

"There are already many programs teaching children the dangers of drug abuse and other problems," Campbell said. "So, I wanted to focus on traffic safety because I felt it was a real need."

Clermont Police Chief Charles Broadway, who has been active in several bike-safety programs, said he embraced the idea. His traffic-safety unit worked with Campbell and principals at five local schools to share tips about traffic safety during pep rallies in which the students were asked to create posters or essays sharing what they learned.

Six students were chosen from Clermont Elementary, Cypress Ridge Elementary, Real Life Christian Academy, Family Christian Center School and Imagine South Lake Charter School.

The 30 bicycles were donated by Travis Realty Group in Clermont, and helmets were donated by the Kiwanis Club of South Lake. City Council Member Diane Travis was on hand to congratulate the student-winners.

"I never expected such a response," beamed Campbell. "Over 250 students entered and I had to pick 30. It wasn't easy."

The bikes were distributed at the Clermont Police Department. The students also received recognition at Clermont City Council earlier this week.

Campbell is a Clermont resident and student attending Stetson University. The National American Miss pageants are based on inner beauty, poise and presentation, according to a press release from pageant officials.

Campbell's interests include basketball, volleyball and swimming. Honors include a Christian Character Award and Most Likely to be President Award among others.

Miss Florida, Jodi Campbell, goal to impact just
one child had a profoundly more successful effect
veterans day 2015
Miss Florida Jodi Campbell
Campbell’s goal was to impact the life of just one child, but instead had an effect of dozens through her writing contest. Campbell, the reigning Miss Florida goes to the National American Miss competition in Anaheim, California next week. (Photos by Mike Corradino)
miss florida jodi campbell
miss florida jodi campbell
miss florida jodi campbell
miss florida jodi campbell
Courtney Welch receives her prize from Jodi Campbell and Diane Travis, who purchased the bikes for the contest. Welch was one of 30 winners from the more than 200 entries in the Write 4 Safety Contest. (Photo by Mike Corradino)
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