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New Miss Sunnyside will focus 2007-08 community service efforts on providing gang resistance education

In a relatively short period of time, two of Antassia Hammond's aspirations became a reality. First, she learned she'd been accepted to the Sunnyside Police Explorer program. Then she was crowned Miss Sunnyside.

Now she plans on tying her love of community and passion for law and justice together during her reign.

Hammond's particularly keen to address gang awareness, notably through the Gang Resistance Education And Training, or GREAT, program, which she recalls from her middle school days.

"They do a lot of fun activities," she said. "They discuss the legal system and teach that the chances of having basically a bright future diminishes as you get more involved in gangs." She added that getting involved in gangs likely leads to problems with drugs, alcohol and violence.

Hammond's eager to get the newly crowned court in the classrooms, working on gang resistance education.

"I feel it's important because I look around Sunnyside and we have a pretty big issue with gangs here," she said. "I know there are kids who are quite young getting involved in gangs.

Hammond is also looking forward to serving as a role model for young girls. She said that her grandmother, Toni Hammond, used to work with young kids and she's seen first-hand the positive influence. "I've seen what she's taught them," she said of those who were once in Toni's charge that now come to visit. "They're very accomplished. It's mind boggling to see what she's done for them. She's done it for me too," she said, adding that the least she can do is return the favor in her community. "It's important for everybody to have someone to look up to."

Another goal Hammond has for the court is to work to beautify the Sunnyside community. Hammond said this was First Princess Molly Dolan's choice for a project, should she have been selected as Miss Sunnyside. "I'm thinking about possibly doing that, if time will allow," said Hammond.

Hammond said she hopes that she and her court will complete more than just the required hours for community service.

"I want to make people proud of their community. I want to make Sunnyside proud of our court and show other communities all the positive aspects (of Sunnyside)," she said, adding, "And most importantly, have fun doing it!"

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