One of our amazing NAM moms knew that Open Call season was gearing up and wanted to pen an open letter to all those hesitant parents gettin their letters in the mail...after all she was in your shoes last year. Check out what she has to say about her experience in letting her daughter....take a chance.
"I have a confession to make…I LOVE pageants. Like, the the kind of love that if asked to choose between the newest episode of "This Is Us" or "Miss USA", I’d pick an evening of pageantry any day of the week! Crazy, I know! It’s kind of like the Super Bowl or the World Series…you watch, you wait, you cheer, you strategize and you watch every contestant bring her very BEST to the stage. I love that there’s one very important strand that ties all of the girls together…it’s not their background, their hometown, their family dynamics, their degree of talent, their education. It’s their willingness to take a chance.
I’ve always believed in the confidence, the success and the cultivation of grit that is rooted in the world of pageantry. I confess that I even entered and won a pageant of my own in the wonderfully small, agricultural town I grew up in – and, yes, it was far too long ago for me to even admit! ;) So when some sweet friends of ours encouraged Katelyn to give National American Miss a try, we thought about it, we prayed about it and we thought about it some more. I definitely had all the normal questions swirling in my head that you’d imagine of any first-time NAM pageant mom. Will she feel prepared? What if she gets nervous on stage? Will she make new friends? We decided to make the decision that we knew would tie all of the girls and the moms together. We decided to take a chance.
I loved watching it on TV, but watching and doing are two different things! When we walked into our first open call last April we had all of the normal trepidations you’d expect from rookies. But when I saw the excitement and genuine determination in Katelyn’s eyes, our lack of pageant expertise didn’t really matter. I knew she was right where she was meant to be. At the end of the open call, they let the girls try on the crown and banner and I distinctly remember the sparkle in her eye. She was meant to take a chance.
So my encouragement to all of those amazing moms and daughters who might be wondering if NAM is for them…if they should risk taking a chance…if it’s worth it to try…I leave you with this. Your experience (or lack thereof) doesn’t matter. Your ability to do everything perfectly doesn’t matter. Finding the perfect dress, shoes and hairstyle doesn’t matter. What matters is encouraging our girls to be exactly who God made them to be…to use their gifts and talents to bless and serve others. What matters is allowing our girls to spread their wings and to try new adventures that teach them to stretch and grow. Let her take the lead. Let her shine. Let her discover who SHE is and the many ways she can be a leader and inspire other girls in her community. Let her take hold of everything NAM has to offer. Let her take a chance."
-Alyssa Jacob, mom of Katelyn Jacob, 2017 Miss Iowa Jr. Pre-Teen
And....her daughter ended up winning the pageant and becoming Miss Iowa Jr. Pre-Teen. All because she let her take a chance. We hope that you too allow your daughter to take a chance and to see you at Open Calls this year!