May 19, 2015
Miss Wisconsin 2014, Raeanna Johnson, recently spoke to a general assembly of students and staff at Sheboygan Christian High School. Her message is to persevere through hardships by seeking positive outlets.
She spoke of her older brother Tyler who took his own life while on methamphetamine. After his death the family learned that he was addicted to the drug, but failed to see the signs. She said Tyler received a distressful call concerning his girlfriend from a friend. His friend told Tyler his girlfriend was going to take her life over a dispute she and Tyler had. In his view, which was distorted by the drug, the only way he know how to cope with this hardship was to commit suicide.
Raeanna said, “My grief turned to hatred. Hatred for Tyler and why he would cause so much pain for his family.” She went on to say, “I have battled my feelings ever since Tyler’s death. I have learned to find positive activities such as dance, college and my tenure as Miss Wisconsin as positive ways to cope with my emotions.”
As Miss Wisconsin she established as her personal platform, “Tyler’s Legacy: The impact of Substance Abuse on the Family”. She reaches out to school age youth to tell her story, and make others aware of her struggles. She sends the message of perseverance and positive activities. She experienced it first hand when Tyler in his last note said, “don’t miss me”. She misses him everyday and has learned to direct her emotional energy to spreading her story.
In addition to her appearance at Sheboygan Christian School, she also spoke to elementary age students at Oostburg Christian School. There she spoke to both a middle school and elementary age students.
Raeanna’s appearances were co-sponsored by CITGO Petroleum and the Sheboygan Optimist Club.