Miss Wisconsin Is a Child of Alcoholics
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Mariah Haberman, who was crowned Miss Wisconsin Central last month, is making Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) issues her primary platform as pageant winner this year, and has revealed that she has first-hand experience with the issue. "I don't think my life was stolen from me, but (their drinking) totally shaped the person I am today," she says." I grew up in a family where alcohol was very prevalent, alcohol was always around and eventually in 2007 my step father was killed in a drunk driving accident, that obviously changed my life. And it changed my entire family's life." Haberman credits her grandmother and stepmother as positive role models who encouraged her to "dream big" and helped her to overcome the tragedy. With her Miss Wisconsin sash in tow, she now goes to schools and gives media interviews about her experiences as a child of alcoholics. "Talking to someone back then would have helped immensely," she says. "Maybe we could have even saved our family if we had brought this into the open 5-10 years earlier, instead of one of my parents having to die from an issue that we kept quiet about." According to Sis Wegner, CEO of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, one in four American children lives with parental alcohol abuse or alcoholism. Wisconsin is a notoriously heavy-drinking state.