Mrs. Tulsa International 2007, Sasha Townsend, is a more than just a pretty face. This University of Tulsa graduate and current graduate student in the University’s Applied Mathematics program has a mission: to strengthen Oklahoma families.
“As an adult child of divorce, I know how hard it can be to deal with post-divorce transitions,” said Townsend. She adds that she believes the transitions associated with divorce can be an opportunity for growth and the development of personal strength. Townsend’s mission for her year as Mrs. Oklahoma is to advocate on behalf of children of divorce and prevent divorces from occurring.
Townsend has put her mission into action by promoting programming for children of divorce and volunteering as a marital education workshop leader for the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative. Townsend is speaking with community leaders throughout Green Country about implementing the Banana Splits program, a peer support group for children of divorce, in schools, churches and community centers. She is also a trained marital education facilitator for the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative. She recently co-led a PREP (prevention and relationship enhancement program) workshop series at Family & Children’s Services with fellow workshop leader and marriage and family therapist, Scott Aycock.
“The Oklahoma Marriage Initiative gives couples the tools they need to communicate and protect the positive aspects of their relationship. This kind of work is preventative, not to mention that children of divorce are more likely to get divorced themselves. We need marital education now more than ever,” said Townsend.
Oklahoma has one of the highest divorce rates in the country, and the state is unique in its innovative approach to reducing the divorce rate. Free marital education workshops are available throughout the state. Engaged couples save $45 on their marriage licenses by attending one of OMI’s workshops.
For more information about the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative and their upcoming workshops, or the Mrs. Oklahoma International Pageant, go to http://www.okmarriage.org/ or http://www.themrsoklahomapageant.com/.
Townsend represented Tulsa at the Mrs. Oklahoma International pageant on May 10 at the Stillwater Community Center. Townsend won the evening wear competition, the online people’s choice award, and was selected by her peers as Mrs. Congeniality. She currently resides in Tulsa with her husband Bobby. Sasha is a magna cum laude college graduate with degrees in psychology and mathematics from the university of Tulsa and Oklahoma State University respectively. She has aspirations of becoming a math professor. Townsend is a teaching assistant and graduate student in Applied Mathematics at the University of Tulsa, and teaches three calculus classes each semester during the regular school year. This summer she is teaching calculus I at Tulsa Community College, making appearances as Mrs. Oklahoma 2008 and promoting her platform of advocacy for children of divorce. “I only have one year, so I’m trying to make the most of it,” said Townsend.
For more information on Mrs. Oklahoma and her year, visit http://www.sashatownsend.com/