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Rachel Wright, Miss Utah Pre-Teen 2011 remembers being shy, scared, and new to pageants.....

 Just a year ago, I was like many of you - shy, scared and had never done anything like NAM before. I had finally gotten the courage to try it, and I've had so many amazing and different experiences this past year. 

NAM has given me the opportunity to go to different schools and be part of assemblies about reading. I've had the fun experience of being able to participate in parades, and I've even met Utah Lt. Governor Hall. It was exciting being in the Capitol Building. We were able to meet county royalty, and girls from different pageant systems. 

 I love helping people, so it was very enjoyable being able to do so many different kinds of service for communities all over the state of Utah. We participated in a "Walk to End Alzheimer's." a tea party with the Mad Hatter to help the Children's Justice Center, we donated lots and lots of books and we helped out with Kailee Jade's school walkathon. 

I had the best time at Nationals! It was a lot of fun meeting different royalty from all over the country! Going to Disneyland with my family, when I didn't have rehearsals/ competitions, was so fun! The last time I had gone to Disneyland was when I was 3.

One of the most unexpected but exciting and fun part of this adventure was having my wonderful sister queens. I loved being able to do all of these fun service projects with them! I don't have any sisters, so being able to meet and get to know these girls was like getting 5 "sisters." I hope to stay in touch with them. They have definitely been some of my best friends. 

 I'd like to thank so many people, especially my family. Rachel Hood is the best photographer ever! Plus she has an awesome name! Brittany Miyahara, Miss Utah, for being an amazing sister queen and coach. I'd also love to thank my sister queens and Tara Heaton and Jen Jensen for being like my 2nd and 3rd moms. I'd also like to thank NAM, Breanne, and the Maples Organization, for helping me get out of my shell and find my place in the world. 

I wish all of you good luck! One piece of advice: smile and be yourself. 

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