Monday, September 24, 2012

Welcome the NAMILY Illinois Royalty!

Here they are - the 2012 National American Miss Illinois state queens!

Miss Illinois: Jamie Mussen

Miss Illinois: Summer Robbins

Miss Illinois Jr. Teen - Dayanna Barrera

Miss Illinois Pre-Teen: Ashley Hollis

 Miss Illinois Jr. Pre-Teen: Chandlyr Davis

 Miss Illinois Princess: Chayce Davis

Isabelle Hanson showcasing beauty inside and out as our 2011 Miss Illinois Jr. Teen

“Your new 2011 National American Miss Illinois Junior Teen is Isabelle Hanson!” Hearing for the first time, my title and name, “ME”, being called forth to accept the crown was a dream come true! Undoubtedly, this moment will be a treasured memory, forever dear to my heart. Looking back, I can’t fully describe to you my crowning moment, but maybe the photos of me say it best; with tears streaming down my face, one hand to my heart, and a smile of great joy, I accepted the honor of being chosen to carry out the responsibilities of the Illinois State Jr. Teen Queen.

  This past year, performing the duties of a NAMily queen has been eye opening. Volunteering with concerned organizations of varied causes gave me a greater awareness of those in need. I have seen the suffering of many managing life threatening diseases, hungry families not having enough money to put food on the table, scared refugee children, senior citizens’ loneliness, inner-city public school children never experiencing the joy of a music lesson, struggles of disabled veterans, and much more. It was a privilege to support these organizations and share time with those they aid.

Participating in a public appearance with my NAMily sisters at the Kane County Cougar’s Princess Day baseball game impacted my thoughts about myself and who I am. Dads, Grandpas, and friends brought their “princess” to enjoy the baseball game. Signing autographs, posing with the “princesses” for pictures, and talking about NAM highlighted the meaning of striving to make good choices, choosing my actions carefully, and of being the best role model I can for other girls.

Invaluable lessons were taught, as I served others. Working as a volunteer, at the Annual Heier Fishing Derby and BBQ for the Veteran Residents was a day of learning. As the buses pulled in Big Bear Lake parking lot, carrying the veterans of the Chicago North V.A. Hospital, I didn’t know what to expect. Getting to know the veterans, listening to their stories, sharing a barbeque lunch, and fishing beside them was more meaningful than any U.S. history lesson I have sat through. From these men, I learned about courage, honor, and our privilege of freedom.

A special highlight of November was traveling with my parents to Anaheim, California, representing my state at the NAM National Competition. Suddenly my NAMily grew! I met inspiring sisters from many states. Together we toured the surrounding L.A. sights and spent a day at Disneyland, “where dreams really do come true!” Throughout the week we laughed, worked hard, prayed together, and sometimes cried on each other’s shoulders. Honored to have finished in the TOP 10, I left with lasting memories and many new friendships.

            As my reigning year is coming to a close, I couldn’t have managed without the help of many special people. Mr. and Mrs. Maples, thank you for the opportunity of being part of NAM and your guiding ways. Miss Breanne, you have been my role model throughout my past three years with NAM. THANK YOU TEAM MAPLES! To the helpful NAM staff, especially Ryan, Bishara, Phil, and Anna, I appreciate your support. To my violin teacher Nan Zhou, my vocal teacher Melissa Cobbs, and piano teacher Stacey DeGaris, thank you for believing in me. To my “second moms”, my Illinois NAMily moms, your smiling ways were invaluable. To my sister queens, Tatum, Peyton, Cassidy, Valerie, Natalie, Kathryn, and Lily, I prayed for sisters like you. I deeply treasure our friendships. Mom and Dad, God blessed me with the gift to call you my parents. I love you both. Thank you God for all you have given me!

            To all the contestants, remember dreams do come true if you dare to dream them. Shine on! To my successor, God’s called you on a new journey, one much bigger than you will ever imagine. Rock it!

This past year’s journey has changed me. In meeting so many kind, generous hearted people, I am awed. In the opportunity to serve others, I am humbled. In carrying out my duties as a Queen, I know myself better. In my future, I see a clear direction. For this amazing opportunity, I am forever grateful.

Your 2011-2012 National American Miss
                   Illinois Junior Teen, Isabelle Hanson

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The 2012 Wisconsin Royalty.....

National American Miss is excited to have the following young ladies representing Wisconsin for 2012-2013!!

Wisconsin Miss: Elizabeth Bryson

Miss Wisconsin Teen: Haley Laundrie

Wisconsin Jr. Teen: Kenna Harke

Wisconsin Pre-Teen: Evelyn Kraklow

Wisconsin Jr. Pre-Teen: Erica Barlament

 Wisconsin Princess: Reese Lund

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

National American Miss 2012 Missouri Titleholders!!

The young ladies representing National American Miss & the great state of Missouri for the next year are:

Missouri Miss: Kelsey Parrot

Missouri Teen: Samantha Bowers

Missouri Jr. Teen: Sydne Arthur

 Missouri Pre-Teen: Tiffany Brown

Missouri Jr. Pre-Teen: Sofia Kelly

Missouri Princess: Katelynn Smith

Friday, September 14, 2012

Introducing the 2012 Minnesota Royalty!!!

Congrats to the 2012 Miss Minnesota Royalty:

Miss Minnesota: Brittany Link

Miss Minnesota Teen: Kayla Casciano 

Miss Minnesota Jr. Teen: Holly Whannel

Miss Minnesota Pre-Teen: Michelle Bergh

Miss Minnesota Jr. Pre-Teen: Ava Carlson

Miss Minnesota Princess: Kylie Broberg

Monday, September 10, 2012

Miss Illinois, Natalie Swieca reflects on the past year.

I cannot begin to describe how reigning as National American Miss Illinois 2011-2012 has impacted my life.  I have been forever changed!

Beginning the week that I was crowned, I arranged numerous events for the Illinois queens to do together.  One of my goals as the IL Miss was to be an example of leadership, servanthood and selflessness to my sister queens.  I truly hope that I succeeded!  We raised money, changed lives, and developed some lifelong friendships in the process.

Together with my sister queens, I checked in countless Chicago Marathon Runners, while enjoying Navy Pier, Raised money and walked for an Alzheimer’s Cure, Decorated and delivered cards to seniors on holidays, made dinner over Christmas Vacation for the Ronald McDonald House, Manned a Cheer Station for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk, waved in Parades, threw the first pitch while being a special guest for the Kane County Cougar’s Princess Night and Drove the Winning Car off of the field during the 7th inning strethch!!!

Nationals was a ton of fun!  The girls were so welcoming.  I laughed so much and made a lot of friends!  And I am so proud to say that I came home 7th runner up in the Nationals!!   

It was an honor to be asked back a fourth year to dress up, to welcome guests, draw winning numbers, and collect money for the Multiple Sclerosis Gala.  And what a thrill to be a Greeter for two different 22Q events for Chicago Cub’s Player Ryan Dempster!! It was a blast greeting for the Children’s Hospital event, “Stepping Up for Kids” at the amazing AON building.  And not to mention the enormous blessing while receiving hugs and sloppy kisses from countless angels at the Angelman Syndrome Walk!

This year, I have been blessed beyond belief!  First and foremost, I want to thank God for giving me this opportunity.  I pray that I have used my crown to honor and glorify Him in everything that I have done.  Secondly, I want to thank my amazing family for their support and constant encouragement. My love for you is so great! And lastly, I want to thank the terrific NAM staff and my sister queens.  You are all amazing and I look forward to continued friendships for many years to come.

To my successor, use this year to give of yourself in service to others.  The rewards are insurmountable!  Be an example to your sister queens and others in ALL that you do with or without the crown on your head.  Make lots of friends and have the time of your life!!

For the very last time, I am your 2011-2012 National American Miss Illinois, Natalie Swieca!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Rebecca Dowe, Wisconsin Pre-Teen Cover Girl passes down her crown..

 This past year has been so much fun, representing NAM as the
Wisconsin Pre-Teen Cover Girl. I worked hard to earn this title, but I have to especially thank my family for helping me to reach my goal. My parents always made sure to get me where I needed to be.  I was able to make cards to send to military serving overseas through a program called Operation Write Home. Serving the homeless at The Gathering was very rewarding, and something that I plan on doing again throughout the year. Last fall, I was able to help raise money for the Honor Flight by selling Monopoly games made for Ozaukee County, where I live.

    A few more highlights from my year are meeting Miss America, Laura Kaeppeler. It was so great to see only the second Miss WI become Miss America. Also, I was able to be a big buddy for a contestant in the first Miss Amazing pageant in Wisconsin. Working with my contestant, Connie, taught me what true beauty is all about.

    Hanging out with my sister queens is something I will always
remember. Since I am an only child, it was fun to feel like I had
several sisters. In February, we met in Green Bay for a photo shoot. That was such a fun weekend! My family toured Lambeau Field after all of the photos were taken. It was cool to walk out onto the field through the tunnel, just like the players do. I'm so glad that we are going to keep in touch to follow what's going on in our lives.

    Lastly, I need to thank Lani, and Breanne Maples for offering girls the chance to reach goals, gain confidence, and make lasting friendships. I am sad to say goodbye to my Cover Girl title, but I know the experience is something I will never forget.

Keep smiling!
Rebecca Dowe
2011 WI Pre-Teen Cover Girl

Friday, September 7, 2012

Abby Jerome, Miss Minnesota Jr. Teen 2011, looks back at a year she'll never forger..

Don’t cry because it’s over smile because it happened. I cant believe a year has passed since I was crowned Miss Minnesota Junior Teen. This year was full of numerous parades, volunteer opportunities, photo shoots, and open calls. I also got the opportunity to travel as guest royalty to the Wisconsin, Arizona, and Illinois pageants. It was very rewarding to spend my time donating the books and bears and playing with the children at the children’s hospital in St Paul. The highlight of my year was the national pageant. The friendships I made will last a lifetime. I also had a blast touring Hollywood and spending the day at Disney land. I will never forget the fun times or the memories I made there.
I would like to thank all the people who have got me where I am today first to some very special friends Kendra thank you for all the laughs and great memories through the years. Maddie, Chandi, and Zoe our times as visiting royalty will never be forgotten. You three are amazing and I wish the best for you girls. To my sister queens Chloe, Haley, Alyssa, and Jackie thank you for the support and the many adventures throughout the year.  You girls will always have a special place in my heart.  Ken, Lani, Breanne, Ryan, and National American Miss Staff you have helped me grow over the past eight years into who I have become today for this I am truly grateful. Lindsey and Julie thank you for all the laughs and good times. Last but not least my family Mom and Dad you have been with me every step of the way thank you for your continuous love and support. Mom, thank you for spending so many hours in the car traveling for me this year. Trent and tea I couldn’t ask for more supportive siblings, thank you for always being my #1 fans. To my grandparents thank you for always doing your best to be in the audience cheering me on. Anna over the past year we have become so close, I consider you my big sister. Thank you for preparing me to go on stage and all the wonderful times we spent together. I love you all.
In closing to the contestants remember the fun you had and the friends you made this weekend. To my successor the year will go by so fast and will be filled with so many wonderful opportunities. I wish you the best.
For the last time I am your2011-2012 Miss MN Jr. Teen Abby Jerome. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Samantha Holmes, Miss Missouri Teen 2011 says her Final Farewell

Once upon a time there was a little eleven-year-old girl who competed in her very first pageant. After eight long years of competing and working very hard her dream came true as she was crowned your 2011 NAM Missouri Teen. Wow! What a journey this year has been as a NAM Queen. Eight years is a long time, but every minute was worth it because I never gave up and my dreams became a reality. When I heard my name called as the new Missouri Teen I knew I had an amazing year ahead of me.

One of the best parts of being a Queen is being involved in your community. I rode in parades like Manchester Days, and the Green-Tree festival in Kirkwood. It was so much fun waving to the crowds with my sister queens. We also went and helped the relief efforts in Joplin, Missouri. It was a devastating sight to see, but it was fun helping the community get back on its feet. Ringing the bell for the Salvation Army with the National American Miss Rachel Landes was a great time! I also became involved with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization and got to mentor a young fifth grade girl! But, my favorite event was being involved in the first ever Miss. Missouri Amazing Pageant! My friend Amanda and I got to share a buddy, and her name was Cheirleta. The day was long but so worth it. I loved seeing the smiling faces on the girls, and their families.

Nationals was one of the best weeks of my life! I loved feeling like a celebrity! It was so great to celebrate the week with “NAM TEAM MO” who I must say ROCKED IT at nationals! I loved touring Hollywood and going to Disneyland! Even the thanksgiving banquet was a fun time. However the best part was getting to know all the other Teen Queens! It was so fun to see friends that had also won their state pageant while rocking the crazy hair or at the pajama party.

Breanne, Ryan, Lani, and Ken, I can’t believe this year is almost up! It was such an honor representing the state of Missouri for the BEST PAGEANT DIRECTORS EVER! To my sister queens Kloey, Ashley, Madison, Faith, and Rachel, I love you all and I’m so happy I got to share this experience with the five of you girls. There was never a dull moment when any of us were together.  I really enjoyed getting to know you and your families throughout the year. We truly are one great “NAMily”.  To my mom and grandma I would not be where I am today without you. I love you guys so much and thank you for everything you have done for me.

Finally to the contestants, I really enjoyed getting to know some of you guys during open calls, and pageant preps. But remember, no matter what happens pageant weekend, be proud of yourself. YOU were chosen as state finalists so make the best of it! Pageant weekend will be an amazing experience where you will learn so much about yourself.  Remember to be humble in success without bitterness in defeat. While my journey is ending it is just beginning for all of you. I can’t wait to meet all of the Teens and their families’ pageant weekend.

Until Then,
            Samantha Renee Holmes

Your 2011 National American Miss Missouri Teen

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Madison Shead, Miss Missouri Pre-Teen Reflects on her Year.

This year has been nothing short of amazing! Being Miss Missouri Pre-Teen was an experience of a lifetime and I cherished every moment.  As I look back over my year it’s hard to believe it’s almost over. 

 During my reign I was able to work with many outstanding charities.  I donated a portion of my title winnings to the Clare Blasé Foundation; Clare is my friend who is suffering from cancer.  She provides toys and games to the children who are undergoing chemotherapy.  

Shortly after I was crowned, one of the most devastating tornados in history touched down in Joplin, MO.  My Sister Queens and I had the opportunity to volunteer and assist in their recovery efforts by donating water, sorting clothes and providing comforting words to the families impacted by this devastating event.  I volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House, providing meals for families whose children were in the hospital.  I spent countless hours conducting a clothing drive for Refresh, an organization that provides clothing to kids in foster care.  

During my reign I had the opportunity to perform my state winning talent for the Kirkwood Community Center and North Point Church in Springfield, MO.  What an incredible blessing to be able to share my gifts with others.  Not only was I able to give, but I was also on the receiving end when I volunteered to be a buddy for the Miss Amazing Pageant.  The Miss Amazing Pageant is a pageant system that gives the whole “pageant experience” to girls with special needs. It was such a blessing spending the day with these “Amazing Girls”. These girls were such an inspiration to me.  Although I spent a lot of time working with charities, I also spent time with my Sister Queens.  We all met in Jefferson City, MO and met the Governor of our great state.  We also participated in my hometown parade during the Green Tree Festival, where I was asked to be the official judge of our annual Dog Show.  What an honor!

                  During this year, I was so fortunate to be able to travel to visit other pageants.  During these trips, I made a ton of new friends, Brittany (WI), Merrill (IA), and Allie (KS), just to name a few. This was very helpful when we all hit the road on our way to Nationals.  

                Nationals was a journey I will never forget.  Even though I didn’t win the national title, I had a blast and did win lots of awards and prizes, such as 3rd Runner up for the National Spokes Model competition. From our trip to Disneyland to the Hollywood tours, it was unbelievable.  The best part was making memories and friendships that will last forever!   To Steve & Kathleen, all the judges and the wonderful NAM staff – Thank you for this amazing opportunity! 

                         To Lani and Breanne, thank you for supporting me and making me feel like family.  To my Sister Queens, Kloey, Ashley, Faith, Sammi, Rachel, Waneka, Jamie, and Madison B. – I am so lucky to have you 8 amazing girls as Sister Queens!  I couldn’t have done it without my heavenly father. He gives me the strength and guidance, unconditional love and grace to make it through every day. I wouldn’t have made it without the continual love and support from my family either. My Mom, my friend, my stylist, my photographer, my coach, I would not be the person I am today without you. I credit every accomplishment to you and Dad.  You two continue to support me and my dreams…no matter how expensive it may get! Thank you for letting me carve my own path instead of insisting I follow yours. You two really are the best parents I could ever ask for!  To Clarke- my beautiful sister. I am so proud of you are my right hand. You are always there for me, thank you. I love you so much! To my Grandma Joyce, thank you for all the countless nights on SKYPE watching me practice, over and over and over again.  To the rest of my family, you are all my biggest fans; you never miss a beat, or a picture. You all have loved and supported me, and I wouldn’t have made it this far without each and everyone of you. I love you all so much.   

           To my successor, get ready for the ride of you life!  I am so grateful for this past year because it is helped mold me and given me the extra confidence to make a difference.  Although I am saying farewell, I am excited about the future. I am dedicated to making an impact and a difference in this world and in the lives of others.  

 Signing off as your Miss Missouri Pre-Teen 2011, I am Madison Shead.