Laura Kaeppeler, Miss America 2012, visited Underwood-Memorial Hospital on on Tuesday. She received a warm reception from the patients and hospital staff. Camera phones and curious eyes were rampant — something the 23-year-old Miss Wisconsin winner said she’s still trying to get used to.
Laura Kaeppeler visites Underwood-Memorial Hospital
“It’s all been so surreal. It still feels crazy,” Kaeppeler said, after she and her newfound entourage stopped in on a meeting between Underwood’s CEO Eileen Cardile and several physicians and lawyers.
Kaeppeler recently started her media tour on several nationally-televised programs last week and is gearing up for her year-long journey, which will be spent traveling the country, speaking to different groups and raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network.
Underwood-Memorial just to happened to be an impromptu pit stop that Kaeppeler said she was happy to make along the way.
Kaeppeler has several more visits over the course of the next year as she plans to represent her country and act as a role model for younger girls around the country.
The main platform for Kaeppeler thus far has been mentoring and supporting children of incarcerated parents — a circumstance Kaeppeler was familiarized with at a younger age when her father was imprisoned for almost two years for mail fraud.Because of her experiences, Kaeppeler founded Circles of Support, an organization created to reduce the cycle of crime by becoming an inspirational figure and mentor in the lives of children with incarcerated parents.
Kaeppeler also intends to use the $50,000 scholarship that came with her crown to pursue a law degree and become a family lawyer specializing in helping the children of imprisoned parents.