National Tourette Youth Ambassador and Caroline Christian, 16, of Severna Park, and currently Miss Carroll County Outstanding Teen in the Miss America Organization has dreamed of this day since she met Governor Hogan last June, 2015 in his office at the Capital in Annapolis. During her meeting in 2015 when she was then Miss Anne Arundel County Outstanding Teen, Caroline discussed her Tourette and lobbied Governor Hogan for his support with a state side “Teal Tuesday” in recognition of all those across the state that have Tourette. Teal is the official color of the National Tourette Association and Tourette Awareness with the National Tourette Awareness month form May 15th to June 15th this year. Thanks to the Governor Hogan’s office and State Delegate Nicholas Kipke and his staff, Caroline’s dream became a reality after 12 months of effort. The Anne Arundel County Council had previously issued a county-wide Teal Tuesday proclamation during June 2015 with the full support of the Anne Arundel County Center for Aging and Disabilities. Caroline was diagnosed with Tourette when she was in the second grade. Her pageant platform for the past two years has been, “Keep Calm and Tic On, It’s Ok to be Different.”
Caroline received the 2016 Zak Hollis National Youth Achievement Recognition Award for outstanding personal achievements in scholarship, volunteerism, special interest and athletics on March 12th at the Tourette Gala and Awards Banquet. Caroline received the award for her volunteer work and her continuing efforts to spread Tourette Awareness. Caroline is very active in the National Tourette Association and the local Tourette Association of Greater Washington and has given multiple presentations at the police academy, schools and many other organizations and is also a Tim Howard Leadership Academy advocate.
“This proclamation from Governor Hogan is such an honor,” said Caroline Christian. “I am fortunate to have the support of the Governor’s office to bring much needed awareness to this disease that affects 1 in 100 people a year, mainly children across the State of Maryland with no cure. I’m fortunate the type of Tourette I have still allows me to actively serve my community. I continue to serve as a voice for those who don’t have one, as I spread awareness of this disorder across the State of Maryland.”
Tourette Syndrome is a neurobiological disorder characterized by repeated motor and vocal tics from mild to severe. Caroline will compete in the Miss Maryland pageant June 21-25 at the Maryland Theater in Hagerstown.