Sunday, May 27, 2012

NAM girls strive to make a difference - start BE THE DIFFERENCE FOUNDATION


PictureMegan Viola-Vu, our National Cover Miss, alongside other NAM girls (Angunae A. Dodson Wade  and Kahlee Smith), are wanting to make a big difference! Recently, the 3 have started the Be The Difference Foundation in the hopes of helping children who are battling  cancer, living with a disability, or coming from less fortunate situations to follow their dreams no matter how big they may be. 

Check out one of these links below to find our more information:


Currently,they are selling their Be The Difference shirts for $15 and the proceeds from these shirts will be going to a different organization to help the children each month. To purchase a shirt, you can contact Megan at violavm@sthom.edu


Friday, May 25, 2012

See this girl's journey to star status since participating with NAM 5 years ago!



ROLE MODEL

Skylar McCartney on runways in Paris, New York
Balancing runway shows at New York and Paris fashion weeks with high school coursework can be challenging, but Monroe teen Skylar McCartney makes it work.
When she's not at a photo shoot or modeling in a show, McCartney says she's just like any other 17-year-old girl, although what she doesn't add is that most kids her age don't have contracts with one of the largest model management companies in the world — Wilhelmina Models.
Standing at 5'11", the blonde with piercing blue eyes said she has been modeling since she was 13 years old, having been discovered after years of participating in pageants.
"I started doing pageants when I was just a kid," she said. "I've always liked taking pictures."
When she was 12, McCartney won a modeling scholarship to John Robert Powers New Orleans after taking home a crown at the 2007 National American Miss Pageant.
At age 14, she signed with Next Model Management after winning the title of Miss iPOP! (International Presentation of Performers) at a convention in Las Vegas.
McCartney said she stayed with Next Model Management for about two years until she recently signed with Wilhelmina in September.
She said she just returned from her first time modeling in Paris Fashion Week in March and described the experience as "very busy." She said her "non-stop" days can begin as early as 5 a.m. and last until late into the night, which she said is typical during fashion seasons.
It is also common to be flown out to a photo shoot with limited notice, she said, adding that the farthest place she's ever traveled to for the job was Argentina.
But despite the hectic schedule, McCartney said modeling can be a fun and rewarding career.
"It's exciting because sometimes you get chosen by the big designers that everyone wants," she said.
McCartney said she has been able to work for designers such as Joanna Mastroianni and Alice + Olivia.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Miss Iowa Princess 2012 - only weeks after being crowned is being recognized by hometown

Becca Mitchell was only crowned a little over 3 weeks ago as the 2012 NAM Iowa Princess! Her hometown of Sioux City, Iowa has given her quite the welcoming and truly making her feel like a PRINCESS! Check out this article in the Sioux City Journal by clicking below.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Iowa Pageant Testimonials.....

I thought I would share with you some of the wonderful testimonials we received after the Iowa pageant. Our email box was flooded with praises and kind comments, here are just a few...

I wanted to let NAM know about our experience at the Iowa State National American Miss Pageant that took place this past weekend. Our daughter competed in the Princess division and this was our first year and have never experienced anything like this before. WONDERFUL!!!! It was a truly amazing experience for her. We had so much fun!!!!! The staff is amazing...amazing!!!! Breanne is honestly one of the nicest people I have ever met and my daughter loved her! She is a hoot!!! Jenny Jones 2011 Miss Iowa teen was one of the sweetest young ladies you could ever ask for and again my daughter loved her! There are so many I can't name them all. Though my daughter did not place, this was an awesome experience and she looks forward to doing it again next year. Congrats to the 2012 Iowa Princess Division Queen Becca Mitchell...super sweet girl! Thank you NAM for a wonderful weekend!!!!! We truly met so many wonderful and caring people!!!! 


Thank you so very much for such a tremendous experience!!!


Danielle Arnold

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I know I called and asked a lot of questions and had  a few freak out moments during pageant preliminaries but I wanted to thank you for hanging in there with me.  I am sure you get a few moms that spaz out some when it comes to their daughter's first pageant.  I was concerned about the monetary commitment and the production of the ordeal.  I went into this pageant very cautious as this was my, and my daughters', very first pageant experience aside from watching toddlers and tiaras. 

 I wanted to let you know that it was worth every penny!  

They did not place, they did not even make semifinals but my 15 year old has a new found confidence and a notebook page of new friend's contact information.  She is jazzed to be able to do this again next year. She is already brain storming for ideas of who she can get to sponsor her.   She is wanting to go into fashion design in college and has even talked to us already about helping her purchase fabric so she can make and design her own dress, something to set her apart.  She had friends make semifinals and even went to school with the new Jr. Teen Miss Iowa.  Her spirits are so high right now that I don't think she will be coming down for quite some time.

My 5 year old was very upset that she did not win the big trophy and we learned this year that naps are a must rather than go go go the whole time.  But when she woke this morning after leaving the pageant, after the positive praise in the car on the ride home...she woke up and insisted she needed to polish her trophy before going to daycare.  She is so proud of what she accomplished and that she had new friends.  She as well is talking about doing this again next year.

And as for me, a former pageant skeptic, I am also very excited to be attending next year with my girls. 

You have a great program, a great staff, and created a great experience!  I will say my husband was disappointed that he did not come home with a crown or sash but he even said he will have to up his game next year.

I feel that it is very important to tell someone when you are pleased with your interaction with them...I am very pleased to say, that while I have not physically met you, that I know you.  Thank you for the opportunity to make wonderful memories with my family.  I look forward to meeting you in the future.

Molly deRiso
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I just wanted to say WOW!  Now that I have seen the work (and probably just a small part of it) from the other side and how much it takes to put the pageant on and make it run so smoothly, I can only say how impressed I am with the coordination and the energy that that you put into this effort.

Thank you for letting us be a part of this.  I enjoyed the opportunity to meet and get to know so many of the girls and their parents.

Thank you.

Marketa Oliver



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Dear Breanne & Staff-


As you may know, our move to Iowa was brought on by me trying to "re-group" after several changes and the loss of Merill's father. We "stumbled" upon NAM, and it has been a blessing. We found something we loved to do together as mother and daughter. She made friends and so did I. It's clear what this system does for the girls, but I hope to remind you that you help "lift" the parents, as well. In my case, this experience reminded me to set a good example, to be organized, and to have fun with the girls and parents involved. 


THANK YOU!!
Shawn Diddy
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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Questions about NAM?? Our Participants answer!


Sooo...I was browsing YouTube today and came across this video!! It is sooo adorable!! These 2 sisters, who have participated in the NAM pageant for the past few years have taken it upon themselves to create this little informational video about NAM, how to get sponsors, and even our Optional Advertising Program. The video is put  together really well for being home-made and these girls are a HOOT!!! While these girls don't compete in one of the state pageants I direct and I don't know them - they  embody what a NAM girl is!! I better watch out, because it looks like these 2 driven NAM girls are after my job.....check out the video and hey - it may even answer some of the questions you have about NAM!?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kiana Brown, Former NAM National Title-holder signs with RCA - voice is being heard!

Kiana Brown, from Arizona, is former NAM National Titleholder...and also, National Talent Winner. However, Kiana has hung up her crown and banner and now holds a new title under her belt - RCA recording artist. Kiana, who is now also an Official NAM Entertainer and performs at National American Miss pageants nationwide, currently has vocal tracks in the new Barbie Movie - A Mermaid Tale 2. Kiana sings "Do The Mermaid!" Check out the music video here and listen to Kiana's killer vocals! So proud to say this girl got her start right here at NAM...and many of you will be seeing Kiana at your state pageant this year as one of our Official Entertainers!

Monday, May 7, 2012

CUTE PICS OF UTAH ROYALTY!!

Our 2011 Utah Royalty had a Photo Shoot a few months ago!! I wanted to share with the NAM community these SUPER CUTE pics!!!




Saturday, May 5, 2012

Their First Appearance as 2012 Iowa Royalty...

The 2012 Iowa pageant took place last weekend in Waterloo, IA. 450 young women vied for 5 titles, each to represent their home state of Iowa and travel to the National Pageant in Hollywood, CA over Thanksgiving. The NAM staff had a great time getting to know each of the beautiful contestants and spending time with them in and their families throughout rehearsals, parties, and competitions. However, it was the judges who had the difficult task of selecting these 5 representatives out of such an outstanding group of winners!!

Also, for ALL the results on the 2012 Miss Iowa Pageant visit:

2012 Miss Iowa Teen: Alyssa Priebe

2012 Miss Iowa Jr. Teen: Annie Moore

2012 Miss Iowa Pre-Teen: Kristen Hovda

2012 Miss Iowa Jr. Pre-Teen: Priya Christensen

2012 Miss Iowa Princess: Becca Mitchell




Thursday, May 3, 2012

Miss Iowa Princess 2011, Tanae Thiravong wishes the year could last forever



I wish this year could last forever! I was completely shocked and excited when I was crowned your 2011 Miss Iowa Princess Queen. Last year was my second year of competing in the Princess Division, the first year I did not place so I went home and worked all year! I was so happy all my preparation and determination to reach this goal had paid off. From the moment I was crowned I knew I would never be the same! This year has been full of firsts for me! I traveled out of state for the first time as visiting royalty for the Illinois NAM pageant. I also took my first plane ride when I traveled to California to represent Iowa at Nationals. As Miss Iowa, I took advantage of every opportunity available to a small town girl. I volunteered for many community projects such as Restoration Days, the Albia Chamber of Commerce, the Monroe County Fair, and the Ministerial Associations Salvation Army bell ringing effort. I spent my summer volunteering at Albia’s Helping Hands food and clothing pantry. I also traveled to Cedar Rapids to visit and read with children at Heart of Iowa, an addictions rehabilitation facility for mothers and their children. Volunteering has really helped me grow into a young lady and realize how fortunate I am. I also had tons of fun making appearances at the Republican Straw Poll, meeting state politicians, and riding in parades. During the last year I have met so many wonderful girls from across our nation and have made memories that will truly last a lifetime! I want to thank my mom who has been by my side through it all! Thanks for all you give to me so I can live my dreams. Thank you to Papa, Grandma, Dad, Tyler, and Tein who always support me, cheer me on, and believe in me! To all the NAM staff, thank you for making this year the best of my life. Breanne, you totally rock and thanks for supporting and encouraging me this year! To my sister Queens; Jenny, Abi, Jordan, Merrill, and Anna…I love you all and you all are truly amazing and beautiful young ladies. Good luck in all you do! To every girl out there chasing a dream…GO FOR IT! With determination and hard work anything is possible! Finally, to my successor…take a deep breath and TAKE IT ALL IN! Live and enjoy every day of your reign as the year goes by so fast!!







 Hugs and Crowns, Your 2011 Miss Iowa Princess Queen Tanae Souksavan Thiravong

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Merrill Diddy, Miss Iowa Pre-Teen, reflects on the year of a life-time

I have enjoyed my year as NAM Iowa Pre-teen and it has flown by.  One of the best parts was getting to hang out with my sister queens at events.  I saw old friends and made new ones at Nationals and through the year.  The friends I’ve made have become my NAMily and I am so happy to have them.  Special thanks to the members of the NAM staff, Ken and Lani - and of course to my girl Breanne for helping this dream come true.  I had no idea when I entered my first pageant, that my mom and I would make friends that would become NAMily.  Special thanks to my pageant sis Sydney Ricks and fam (N. Cali JPT 2009) and Kaitlyn Rigdon and fam (All-American Miss JPT 2008) who traveled hours to visit.  Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without seeing the Donati family at Nationals. Raina and Gia – you’re the best sisters a girl could have (and my mom loves you all too!).

My title helped open doors to help my community and the world.  I volunteered for Feed My Starving Children and packed hundreds of meals for children in other countries.

I sang at Bass Pro World in Illinois to Raise Money for Easter Seals where I got to sign autographs and encourage little girls to reach for big dreams. 

It was an honor to be the entertainment for the National Miss You Can Do It Pageant. The pageant is for girls with special needs and it was filmed for an HBO documentary about the founder, one of my mentors, Abby Curran - Miss Iowa USA 2008.   (Photo with Savannah Spencer from Knoxville, TN)




Thanks to my grandparents, and family members from Arizona, Iowa, California and North Carolina - they joined us to celebrate Thanksgiving and cheered for my friends and me at nationals.  Gramma Kathy and cousin Anita kept us supplied with Pumpkin pie all week.  I can’t express how wonderful it was!  I won the Spirit Award and made some AWESOME new friends.   Jada (N. Cali) , Cassidy(NE), Cassandra (IL), Allie(KS), Allysa (VA), Madison (MO), Brittney (WI) – what a great time we had!  To my old friend Olivia (S. Cali) and my new friend Olivia (WY) you help me remember growing and changing is good and there’s always room for a new friend.   Thanks to all the PT contestants, I wish I had room to name you all and tell about the great time we had.   Let me just encourage every girl reading this to GO FOR IT!  The entire year is incredible. 


To all of you lucky girls competing, I hope you make amazing friends like I have and have fun over the pageant weekend - I can’t wait to see everybody in Waterloo, IA  - To my successor, I hope you have a great year and enjoy every minute of the NAM experience – make sure you have your camera ready!   

TTYL and XOXO,
Merrill Diddy – your National American Miss Iowa Pre-teen 2011