Bennington Native Shines Light On Human Trafficking

Hayden Richardson, a 20-year old student from Bennington, is competing for the title of Miss Nebraska this week. If crowned, she hopes to be educate Nebraska on the signs of human trafficking and to compete at the 2020 Miss America competition live on NBC.

Hayden Richardson

Richardson has shared her message about ending modern slavery for the last two years with schools and organizations across Nebraska and Illinois, where she attends Northwestern University. She was honored with the 2018 Miss America Community Service Award, and this week, was named a finalist for the 2019 Miss Nebraska Community Service Award.

“Being involved, hands-on, in our community allows me to make critical change across our state,” said Richardson. “Human trafficking is a topic that we don’t discuss and is a culture that has to change.”

Richardson, an award-winning dancer who graduated from Bennington High School in 2017, is a member of the Northwestern University Big 10 Cheerleading Team. As a semi-finalist at the 2018 Miss Nebraska competition she has earned more than $2250 in cash scholarships competing within the Miss Nebraska Organization.

“As Miss Nebraska, I intend to visit every school district across our state to educate students and faculty on the signs of human trafficking and what they can do to prevent it,” said Richardson. “The Miss America Organization has given me so much, ranging from scholarships to incredible public speaking skills, and I am so excited to showcase all of my growth.”

The Miss Nebraska Scholarship competition will be held June 2-8 in North Platte, Nebraska, where candidates are eligible for more than $70,000 in prize packages and an estimated $1.4 million in in-kind college scholarships. Tickets are available for the event, which will also be streamed live online, at www.MissNebraska.org.

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