REED CITY \u2013 Even through the death of a loved one, Angela Venditti rose to royalty. The newly crowned 2012 Miss Michigan shared her story with students from Eagle Village, a center for troubled youth with behavioral or emotional problems, during the center\u2019s 2012 Eagle\u2019s Pride celebration Wednesday. \u201cI had a cousin who was my same age - she was 20 - who died of a herione overdose,\u201d Venditti told Eagle Village youth. Her cousin turned to drugs after struggling with her mother\u2019s cancer diagnosis. After the addiction spiraled out of control, Venditti \u201clost a friend.\u201d The experience led Venditti to her philanthropy as Miss Michigan - keeping kids off drugs. \u201cWe all go through hard things in our life and it\u2019s about what you can do with it,\u201d Venditti said. \u201cWhen you can take that and make it into something that can help other people, it can be really incredible.\u201d The top 22 best-behaved residents out of 53 at Eagle Village attended a dinner with Miss Michigan at Pere Marquette in Reed City. \u201cThe entire pageant organization builds up young women and the young women we have on campus see her as a role model,\u201d said Lisa Spaugh, Eagle Village marketing and recruitment specialist. \u201cWe had a couple of young ladies in tears today because they were so excited to meet a young woman who is easily just a few days older than them, but represents something that they could achieve.\u201d Kara Pennington, an Eagle Village participant, was one of the top-behaved students who attended the dinner and said she had anticipated meeting Miss Michigan for a while. \u201cSome of the girl houses got to go to the pageant for Miss Teen Michigan, and ever since then I\u2019ve been excited to meet the real Miss Michigan,\u201d Pennington said. The new Miss Michigan has visited the center for four years, but this year the visit happened to fall on a special day. The dinner was the final event in the Eagle\u2019s Pride celebration, a day of photo shoots and pampering to boost the students\u2019 confidence and give them a positive memory to take when they leave Eagle Village. Matt Yeoman, of Yeoman Photography and members of the Big Rapids Photography Club took pictures of each of the students, and volunteers styled the girls\u2019 hair and applied their makeup. Venditti also spent time with the teens during the photo shoot before being the keynote speaker at the dinner. Each teen will receive a disk with their photos. \u201cEagle\u2019s Pride at Eagle Village is an opportunity for every one of our young people to feel special,\u201d Spaugh said. Formal clothing was donated to the girls to wear to the dinner with Miss Michigan, sponsored by South Park Homes and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. After sharing her story, Venditti encouraged the students to do their best while at Eagle Village. \u201cAnything you can do to improve yourself is only going to help you when you go on in life,\u201d Venditti said. The Eagle\u2019s Pride celebration takes place twice a year at Eagle Village.