Miss Iowa Jr. Teen, Alicia Ney, takes us on a journey of the past year...
WOW! What an amazing year I’ve had. I am so honored and blessed to have had the opportunity to represent Iowa this year through the National American Miss Organization. Looking back on the last year has made me realize how positively NAM has affected me. I have become an active volunteer, a positive role model, a confident public speaker, and a courageous young woman. I thank National American Miss greatly for all it has done in my life.
Everything about this past year has been an incredible experience, and it has, by far, been the best year of my life. I remember, just a year ago, standing on stage among Iowa’s Top Ten Junior Teen finalists and not even being able to think straight. Hearing my name called as the 2009 Miss Iowa Jr. Teen was a moment that will live in my memory forever. I knew, in that instant, that the next year was going to be an adventure, one that I was absolutely and positively ready for.(Alicia photographed with one of many new friends she made through National American Miss)
Nationals was a great week to get to spend with my family and the many new friends from around the country that I had the privilege to meet. It was so inspiring to see so many bright, beautiful, and confident young ladies. The 70’s Party, Hollywood Tour, Day at Disneyland, all the crazy rehearsals, and especially getting to compete in California was fantastic. All the friends I made and pictures taken will keep that week in my memory for the rest of my life. (Photographed left: Alicia enjoying Nationals in Hollywood!)
Throughout my year as the Miss Iowa Jr. Teen, I have participated in many state and local events. Getting to be water girls at the Ronald McDonald Run with Keirstin and Grace was so much fun and selling Fight Like a Girl apparel and walking at the Dubuque County Relay for Life was an eye opening experience. As winter came into full swing, I created my own special project, Blankets for the Homeless. With a grateful donation and the help of my family I made countless tie blankets for the Dubuque Theresa Shelter and Dubuque Rescue Mission. (Alicia photographed donating blankets) Parades were also fun events to participate in because I was allowed to share my achievements with my community.
As my year as the Miss Iowa Jr. Teen comes to an end, I would like to thank everyone who has helped me become the confident and fearless young woman I am today. Thank you Mom, for always encouraging me to do my best and to never give up. Without you this year would have never been possible, I love you. Thank you Dad, for teaching me the importance of respect and hard-work. I think after this year everyone should know that even Queens mow the lawn! To my twin brother, Andy, and my two younger sisters, Christina and Emily, thank you for being patient with me all year and assisting me with all my volunteer work. You all helped me to make this year one that will never be forgotten.
Thank you to my lovely sister queens, all the laughter, the smiles, and the friendship are things I will always remember. You girls ROCK! And to Ken and Lani Maples and the NAM staff, thank you for welcoming me into your pageant family and always greeting me with a smile.To all the beautiful contestants, congratulations, this weekend will be an experience you will always remember. I hope you all work hard for what you want and deserve and never give up on your dreams. I wish you all the best of luck not only this weekend but also in your futures. You are all beautiful and confident young women, and I respect all of you for having the courage to compete for such a prestigious title. To my successor, get ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. And to all the contestants, no matter what happens, always TREASURE every moment, CHERISH every new friendship, and REMEMBER every experience. May God bless you all as much as he has blessed me!
Alicia Marie Ney
2009 Miss Iowa Jr. Teen