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2021 Jefferson Award Profile: Miamie Sleep

When Miamie Sleep sees a problem, she uses determination to solve it. It took her five years to open homeless shelters for teens in the Casper area, but that won’t stop her from continuing to find ways to improve people’s lives. She is one of the 2021 Jefferson Award finalists for Wyoming.
Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 5:41 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Five years ago, Miamie Sleep recognized there was a problem surrounding teen homelessness in the Casper area. At the time, there were over 175 teens that were unaccompanied, which means no parents or family, no place to sleep and nowhere to eat but at school.

This was a problem that was unacceptable to her. “No kid should ever have to worry about where they’re going to eat and where they’re going to sleep,” said Sleep. “They should be worrying about passing their tests or which kid they’re going to ask to prom.”

Sleep set out to find a way to combat the teen homelessness problem, and she’s been able to open a boys and girls homeless shelter for teens in Casper during the past year and a half.

“Really all these kids need is just somebody to care, and that’s where we are,” said Sleep.

Sleep is one of this year’s finalists for the Jefferson Award, which she thought it was “cool” to be included. “I don’t do this to be nominated for stuff or to be recognized or praised or anything like that,” said Sleep.

Liz Roth is one of the people who nominated Sleep for the Jefferson Award, and she said Sleep is relentless when she sees a problem.

“There was nothing that was going to stop her or get in her way to making sure that there was an answer for these homeless teens,” said Roth. “I think it says that she’s just a person that sees a need, and she’s going to do whatever’s possible to make it happen.”

In addition to Sleep’s dedication to combatting teen homelessness, she’s actively involved in the Casper Rotary Club. “She’s just that person that she has no down time,” said Roth. “She’s not just going to sit on the couch and watch TV. She’s going to do something that makes a difference in somebody’s life.”

For Roth, Miamie Sleep embodies everything that the Jefferson Award means. “She never would ask for recognition... like this probably embarrasses her I would think because she just does things under the radar, and she doesn’t do it for recognition,” said Roth. “She does it because it’s the right thing to do.”

Roth said service is just in Sleep’s heart, and it’s simply the way she lives her life.

If you missed the first Jefferson Award finalist, learn Debbie Mestas’ story here. Tune into Monday, April 26′s 5 o’clock newscast to meet the third Jefferson Award finalist.

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