Life

Success at Sixteen: Jordan Thorp and Casana Fink

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Makeup by Kara Winslow, Hair by Sabrina Johns

While most teenagers are sleeping in, goofing off or focusing on high school drama and social media updates, Casana Fink and Jordan Thorp are motivated, driven and focused on their future. They are early risers, community activists and dreamers, chasing their goals of making a difference in the lives of others. And these ladies are well on their way to accomplishing their dreams, beginning with the Miss Gainesville Scholarship Pageant.

“Two girls so passionately committed to making themselves, and the world around them better, Casana is Miss Gainesville’s Outstanding Teen and Jordan is Miss Florida Gator’s Outstanding Teen. Both ladies will compete in the upcoming Miss Florida’s Outstanding Teen Scholarship Pageant, which is affiliated with the Miss America organization, and historically has empowered young women to pursue their personal and professional goals and provided them with a platform for expression.

In this instance, the pageant has succeeded in outstanding ways. It has prepared these girls for public speaking. Both Casana and Jordan are uncommonly thoughtful and well-spoken. They’re composed and polite young ladies, which are increasingly rare qualities in a 21st century-teenage culture that thrives on digital communication. It has introduced the girls to the concept of professionalism and what it takes to succeed. It’s given them self-confidence. But their voices brighten when they speak about their non-profit organizations. Yes, that’s correct “their” as in, non-profits they founded.

More than the accolades of being crowned Miss Gainesville, Miss Florida or even Miss America, are the wonderful things the pageant inspires its contestants to do, and Casana and Jordan are shining examples of the fruits of that inspiration.

Casana’s path to her non-profit organization, Give To Live – Donate Life, includes just one degree of separation: her father. In March of 2013, he was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and put on a transplant list at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, FL.

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