Amy Gregorio captured the title of Mrs. International while competing with 70 of the world’s most beautiful and accomplished women during the 26th Mrs. International pageant in Chicago, Illinois. Amy was crowned by her adoring husband, John, before a sold-out audience including their two children.
Amy is a graduate of Western Michigan University. While in college, she travelled the country as a spokesperson for a major car company. She met thousands of people and found we each have a story to tell. After graduating with degrees in journalism and political science, it was time to share the stories of others by giving reporting a try. She is a former award-winning television journalist, known as AJ Sterling, who worked in Nashville, Indianapolis and Chicago. She has interviewed four U.S. presidents, garnered Emmy nominations and was voted “Best Reporter” by the Associated Press. Her stories have appeared nationally on CBS, CNN and FOX.
It was her challenging career as a journalist that led Amy to child advocacy. “I saw up close the tragedy of child abuse and neglect. Many of these young survivors have endured more than we can imagine; they’ve never been told they are valuable or loved. It’s my mission to help these children find a happier ending to their life stories.”
She will spend her year as Mrs. International promoting CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and the abused and neglected children they serve. Amy has been a volunteer advocate for five years with CASA Lake County. She is a member of their Speaker’s Bureau and a National Ambassador for CASA. Volunteers are specially trained and appointed by judges to act as the court’s eyes and ears for cases involving child abuse and neglect. Volunteers handle one or two cases at a time which gives a child the personal attention he or she deserves.
Each year 700,000 children in the U.S. alone find themselves navigating through an overwhelmed and underfunded child welfare system. With a limited number of available volunteers, judges assign CASA/GAL volunteers to their most difficult and complex cases of extreme neglect, physical or sexual abuse. Advocates speak up for a child who needs a voice in court until they can be placed in a safe and permanent home.
“Children with CASA volunteers spend far less time in the child welfare system and are much less likely to return. They get needed services, perform better in school and have healthier futures. These are ‘our,’ precious children who deserve much better in life and it is up to each of us to make sure they have a chance to reach the full potential of their dreams. As Mrs. International, I’ve been given an extraordinary opportunity to reach out to everyone I can about CASA. 90% of those who are willing to open their hearts to helping children through CASA simply aren’t aware of our amazing organization…yet! ”
Amy has been married for nine years to John who is an attorney and Village Trustee in the North Shore community where they are raising their seven year old son and five year old daughter. The couple is involved with several charitable endeavors. They have already gotten their children involved in making a difference too!
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