Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Get To Know The 2015-2016 National American Miss Michaela Abelgas!




NAM: Tell us about yourself:
Michaela: I am a 20 year old college sophomore at the University of Florida majoring in Biology and minoring in Mass Communications, in the hopes of pursuing a career as a Pediatric Dentist. I wanted to strike a balance between my love for science, journalism, and being in front of the camera. With this heavy course load, you will often find me in the library with Starbucks in hand!

My family and I migrated from the Philippines when I was 10 years old leaving behind a very comfortable life, family and friends. Transitioning into a new culture and a different lifestyle was extremely hard however we were blessed to have found very supportive neighbors and friends. Now I can say that my family is a hybrid of the best of the American culture and the traditional Filipino values. I can proudly say that I speak three different languages!

NAM: What activities are you involved in?
Michaela: I am an active member of my sorority Zeta Tau Alpha – Gamma Iota Chapter where I participate in philanthropy, service, and sisterhood events weekly! This is something I am very passionate about because I have found my best friends through this sisterhood and continue to find girls who are driven, passionate, and involved.

One of the greatest things that have stemmed off from pageants, is that I have had the honor and privilege to emcee for numerous local, state, national, and international pageants and events. I love being able to travel around the country to host great productions and grow as a public speaker and as a person.

NAM: What are your plans for the future?
Michaela: I am someone who is very goal driven and one of my biggest dreams is to set up my own practice as a renowned pediatric dentist.  With the University of Florida being ranked as one of the top dental schools in the country, I spend countless hours in the library, sipping ounces upon ounces of Starbucks coffee a week, making sure I can attain the highest GPA possible in a very competitive class. I believe in my grandfather’s motto, “The seeds that you sow today are the very fruits that you will reap tomorrow.” In addition, I would love to star on my own TV show delivering the latest news, fashion, and celebrity gossip!


NAM: How would your friends describe you?
Michaela: If my friends were to be asked, they would say that I am someone who is very bubbly, quirky, and loud! I love to make the most of every moment and to remind the people around me to not take life too seriously! They would also share my obsession of Snapchatting every little exciting thing that occurs in my live as well as trying to capture the perfect Instagram picture and caption. (Perfect filters and a witty caption are a must, am I right ladies?!”

NAM: What motto or quote best describes you?
Michaela: A quote I love to share to others is “There is no such as failure, only delayed success.” I acknowledge that life is not always perfect – it has its ups and downs and we do not always get what we have hoped for. But it is very important to keep an optimistic attitude and to believe in God’s plans for us.

This quote hits home for me because I have strived to capture the NAM National title for so many years! I have come so close to the national title as a runner up in 2011 and 2014 in the Jr.  Teen and Teen division. I have been disappointed but I know that I simply had to put my faith in God and continue to prepare, learn from my mistakes, and hope that I will one day find my judges – and I did.

NAM: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Michaela: My dad has always instilled in me the importance of being optimistic. Life is not always perfect – with its many challenges and frustrations, it is easy to doubt yourself and your future, however you simply need to be positive and recognize that God has great plans for all of us in His own time.



NAM: How did you prepare for the NAM National pageant?
Michaela: Though it was very different and difficult to prepare for NAM Nationals as a college student who could not always come home to practice, preparing for NAM was still fun for me as it was a family activity! My entire family got so involved. My parents became my pageant coaches. My brother offered to do all the household chores so my sister and I would have more pageant practice time. They were very supportive as they knew that I had to strike a balance between school and my preparations. I would Facetime my Dad to practice Interview and Personal Introduction and when I came home for the weekend, that is when Formal Wear and Casual Wear were being practiced.

NAM: Where is your favorite place to shop?
Michaela: I love shopping at Agaci and Sephora! You will definitely see me shop till I drop!

NAM: What is your favorite TV show?
Michaela: Whether it’s on my Netflix account or on TV, you can always find the TV show “Forensic Files” running. I am so intrigued by the mystery of the murder and kidnapping cases as well as how the detectives use science and forensics to close the case. “Investigation Discovery ID” is my favorite TV network and though it freaks my mom out during the night, I have a deeply rooted interest in it. In fact, something people do not know about me, is that I actually tried to minor in Forensics and Criminology! This is something that I am extremely passionate and interested about.



NAM: What is your favorite book?
Michaela: I am an avid reader and a giant bookworm! I could read the large Harry Potter books in one day! Though I love my J.K. Rowling novels, my favorite book is “A Child Called It” by Dave Pelzer. It is about a young boy who is physically, mentally, and emotionally abused by his mother. This book was very touching and it made me appreciate my mom even more. I am so grateful for all the sacrifices she makes to give my family everything we want and need. Also, the book has taught me to never judge someone because we may not always have the complete story of what they are going through. It is vital for us to do even the little things to make a positive impact in someone else’s life.

NAM: How do you plan to use your title?
Michaela: Having waited years to hold the NAM National title, I plan to use the crown and banner as a microphone and a platform to touch the lives of others. Through appearances, volunteer service opportunities, and social media I hope to be a beacon of hope to never give up on your dreams no matter the obstacles and to show the world the importance of staying true to yourselves while serving others.

NAM: How do you volunteer in your community?
Michaela: My sister and I started our own non-profit organization, “Crowns and Tiaras for a Cause” five years ago that centers around the platform, “Alzheimer’s Awareness.” Living in a retirement area, we understand the importance of giving back to the elderly who have imparted knowledge and life values. We visit nursing homes around Florida and speak to the families as well as scrapbook with the patients to help jog their memories.

NAM: What is your biggest fear?
Michaela: I am afraid of the dark! Horror movies have caught up with me as I cannot sleep at night without a lamp on or go anywhere that is pitch black.



NAM: What is the biggest misconception about your generation?
Michaela: I believe that the media has shaped an image where my generation is apathetic and self-centered. However, my generation is exactly the opposite. We are a generation of growing leaders, and volunteers. I have met numerous people who have their own organizations and even companies that give back to the community and help the world move forward with their talents and intelligence. My generation is ambitious, strong, and giving.

NAM: Who is your role model?
Michaela: My mom is my biggest role model and real life Superwoman. As a nurse, she works 12 hours a day to provide for her family and she has sacrificed so much simply to watch her children reach their dreams. Her kind heart and soul is extraordinary and I hope that I can be half the wife, mother, and woman that she is.

NAM: If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
Michaela: I would love to sit down and have dinner with Olympic gymnast, Gabby Douglas and talk about the hardships and sacrifices she endured to chase after her life dreams. Having left her family to train, I want to get insights on how she managed to stay optimistic and goal driven – two things I strive to have in my every day endeavors.

NAM: What is your favorite part about National American Miss?
Michaela: I love how National American Miss recognizes the importance of having young women to stay true to themselves. They do not promote unrealistic image goals but rather encourages them to embrace their imperfections, love what they are blessed with, and use their qualities to impact the world. The pageant highlights what today’s modern young woman is all about – goal driven, independent, but also, family-oriented and giving; the very same qualities I strive to have each day.


NAM: How did you get started with NAM? How long have you been involved?
Michaela: I received a letter in the mail inviting me to attend the state pageant and my mom jumped to the chance of being able to finally use what I learned through modeling and transfer it to pageants! However, my dad was very apprehensive because he had doubts of what pageants would bring out in me – unrealistic body image, importance of outward appearance, and the values that it represented. With this, my mom did her research on NAM and found out how life changing and positive the organization was! She actually signed me up for the pageant without my dad knowing and told him a month before the pageant to start preparing!  Of course, my dad was the supportive and loving father that he was. Now, my dad is actually my “pageant coach” and embraces the positive influence and impact National American Miss has had on his two daughters and the entire family.

NAM: What is your definition of a NAM girl?
Michaela: To me, a NAM girl is the modern girl – someone who is ambitious, goal-driven, independent, but is also family oriented and giving. She knows the importance of making a positive impact in her community while balancing her life with faith, education, and fun!

NAM: What do you like to do for fun?
Michaela: I am a big computer nerd and enjoy video scrapbooking through numerous multimedia programs and soft wares! You can always find me with my laptop playing around with pictures and videos. Also, I love being spontaneous and going on adventures with my best friends and discovering the coolest places (with a camera ready in hand of course!).


NAM: What makes your state unique?
Michaela: Florida is the haven of paradise. However, we are much more than just our beautiful beaches and theme parks. Florida boasts several festivals and fiestas throughout the year celebrating different cultures such as the Filipino Festival, Greek Festival, and Puerto Rican Festival. Like the United States, Florida is a melting pot so it is admirable that we celebrate and accept different cultures, heritages, religions, and languages!

NAM: What is your favorite food?
Michaela: I do not mind getting messy with buffalo wings! It may not always be the best idea for a first date or dinner before Homecoming pictures (lesson learned), I can eat buffalo wings every day of the week.

NAM: What was your first thought you had when you captured your national title?
Michaela: “Finally” was the first and only thing that I could mutter when Joy Soprano announced me as the winner. After years of being so close to the national title, I was overwhelmed that my dreams finally met reality. Everything happened so fast and my emotions were at an all time high. I remember that my heart was so full when I looked at the audience and I could see my family, friends, and even strangers stand up and cheer. Hands down, greatest moment of my life thus far!

NAM: People would be surprised to know what about you?

Michaela: People would be surprised to find out that I can walk better in high heels than on sneakers! Also, many would not expect how clumsy I am! Having won the Casual Wear Modeling Competition since 2008 and capturing three National Casual Wear Modeling titles, many assume that I am as graceful offstage as I am onstage however I have broken my arm, leg, and ankle countless times simply from walking on the sidewalk! In fact, I already brought crutches to my college apartment in case of any future incidents!




Michaela Abelgas The 2015-2016 National American Miss 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Get To Know The 2015-2016 National All -American Miss Princess Milan Mack!



NAM: Tell us about yourself: 
Milan: Born in Washington, DC the youngest of 7 brothers, and sisters. Science, math, and reading are my favorite subjects. Dancing, cooking, and crafting is what I like to do outside of school. In my spare time I enjoy volunteering, and helping in my community to make it better.
 
NAM: What activities are you involved in?  
Milan: A few activities I’m involved with are I’m a ballerina with the Washington Ballet, I cheer with the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders, chorus, volunteer with the Central Union Mission Homeless Shelter as well as Dream for Kids DC assisting disadvantage kids, and I am your National All American Miss Princess.
 
NAM: What are your plans for the future?
Milan: My Plan for the future is to be Chief of Police because I want to keep my community save to allow kids like me the opportunity to play outside with and adult.




 
NAM: How would your friends describe you? 
Milan: My friends would describe me as being outgoing, caring, sharing, forgiving, peaceful, and having a great imagination.
 
NAM: How did you prepare for the NAM National pageant? 
Milan:  The way I prepared for NAM National pageant was by practicing whenever I had the opportunity.  Also, I would tell myself that “This pageant is not all about a win. It’s about having fun, being confident, and let the outcome speak for itself”. 
 
NAM: Where is your favorite place to shop? 
Milan: My favorite place to shop is Claire’s because they have a lot of accessories that reflect whichever personality, mood, or swag all while helping me look and feel my best.


 
NAM: How have pageants shaped your life? 
Milan: Pageants have shaped by life teaching me how to care for others by motivating, and showing leadership.
 
NAM: What is your most prized possession? 
Milan: My most prize possession is my crown and banner because I don’t want to lose any of the pretty rhinestone. I’m very careful with the way I handle them!
 
NAM: What is your favorite movie? 
Milan: My favorite movie is “The Wizard of Oz”.


 
NAM: What is your book? 
Milan: My favorite books are Junie Moody books. Her books have a lot of adventure, and life lessons for a kid to live by. 
 
NAM: What advice do you have for future NAM girls? 
Milan: The advice I plan to give to future NAM girls are to be confident in yourself, practice makes perfect, and just have fun.
 
NAM: If you could be famous for anything what would it be? 
Milan: If could be famous for anything I would be a health fairy. Being a health fairy I will heal people from being sick, and give advantage to the disadvantage.


 
NAM: How do you plan to use your title? 
Milan: I plan to use my title by being a role model, helping others, and conduct myself as a princess at all times.
 
NAM: What is your favorite subject in school? 
Milan: My favorite subjects in school are science, math, and reading. 
 
NAM:  If you had three wishes what would you wish for? 
Milan: If I had three wishes I would wish for peace on earth, healing on the heart of kids that don’t have a mom and dad, and a birthday on Christmas Eve. 


 
NAM: Who is your role model? 
Milan: My role model is my mom. My mom is a great improviser, she’s great at making most of my clothes for my shows.  When things go wrong she doesn’t panic or fuss she just dust herself off and find another way to get things done. She has a way of teaching me without me realizing that I’m being taught, and she gives the best hugs.

NAM: If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be? 
Milan: If I could have dinner with someone it would be President Barack Obama.  The reason I would love to have dinner with President Obama is to talk to him about opening the Easter Egg Hunt waitlist to schools in unprivileged areas. This will give those kids the opportunity to have something talk about other than the ups, and downs of living in their community.
 
NAM: What is your favorite part about National American Miss? 
Milan: My favorite part about National American Miss is meeting new friends, and seeing all the pretty dresses.
 

NAM: How did you get started with NAM? 
Milan: The way I got started with NAM is through a letter in the mail telling me I was invited to compete, I still never found out who recommended me but I’m glad they did. Thank you whoever you are!!  How long have you been involved?My first pageant was in August 2015 I won 3rd runner up, went to Nationals and here I am your National All American Miss Princess.  Just a happy as a baby tasting candy for the first time!
 
NAM: What is your definition of a NAM girl? 
Milan: My definition of a NAM girl is someone that is kind, someone that shows leadership, someone that is confident, someone that gives back to her community, someone that has poise, and above all someone shows respect, and dignity to everyone she comes in contact with.
 
NAM: What do you like to do for fun? 
Milan: The things I like to do for fun are, cooking, riding roller coasters, playing in make-up, playing with my Baby Alive, and making up dance routines.


 
NAM: What makes your state unique?  
Milan: What makes me unique is that I accomplished that National All American Miss Princess title with three months of doing pageantry.
 
NAM: What is your favorite food? 
Milan: My favorite food are pancakes, and I love to eat them at any time of the day.
 
NAM: What was your first thought you had when you captured your national title? 
Milan: My first thought was I am so happy for Layla Henry (1strunner up) she worked hard and she has a very nice spirit about her. 
 
NAM: People would be surprised to know what about you? 
Milan: People would be surprised to know that during the finale I didn’t know that I won until they started putting the crown and banner on me.


 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Brand NEW Interview with our National Miss Queens!


Watch this amazing interview with The 2015-2016 National American Miss Michaela Abelgas and National All-American Miss Courtlyn Burris moments after they captured national titles at The NAM National Pageant! 

Get To Know The 2015-2016 National American Miss Princess Ella Wallenfang!






NAM: Tell us about yourself:  
ELLA:  My name is Ella Margaret Wallenfang.  I am from Appleton, Wisconsin and I am 6 years old in first grade.  I am the middle sister of 3 girls.  My older sister Allie is 12 and my little sister Nora is 2.  I enjoy competitive all-star cheerleading at Green Bay Elite and also competitive figure skating with The Valley Figure Skating Club.  When I am not at cheer or skating I spend my free time coloring, drawing and making art projects.  I also enjoy volunteering at Homeless Connections and various events around my community. 



NAM: What activities are you involved in?
ELLA: Competitive all-star cheerleading, figure skating, modeling for print and commercials through a local agency.

NAM: How would your friends describe you?
ELLA:  My friends would describe me as funny and helpful.

NAM: How did you prepare for the NAM National pageant?
ELLA:  I did some lessons with my cheer coach Jordan and practiced at home with my Mom and sister Allie.

NAM: Where is your favorite place to shop?
ELLA:  My favorite place to shop is Claire’s because I love accessories.

NAM: What is your favorite movie?
ELLA:  My favorite movie is Frozen of course!!



NAM: What is your favorite TV show?
ELLA:  My favorite TV show is Liv and Maddie because they live in Wisconsin.

NAM: What is your favorite book?
ELLA:  My favorite books are the Pigeon Series by Mo Willems because I think they are so funny.

NAM: What advice do you have for future NAM girls? 
ELLA: Be yourself and don’t be over coached!  Be you and let your personality shine through. That is what NAM is all about.

NAM: What is your dream job?
ELLA: When I grow up I want to become an art teacher because I love doing anything that has to do with art.

NAM: How do you volunteer in your community? 
ELLA: I volunteer in my community at Homeless Connections serving snacks and helping with other activities at the shelter.  I also have volunteered at different local events in my community.  I really enjoyed ringing the bell for the Salvation Army during the holidays.



NAM: What is your most embarrassing moment?
ELLA:  I would have to say my most embarrassing moment was falling off the stage during the National production routine.  Luckily I was able to get myself back up onstage!!

NAM: What is your favorite subject in school?
ELLA:  My favorite subject in school is Science is because I love to do experiments.

NAM:  If you had three wishes what would you wish for?
ELLA:  If I had three wishes I would wish that kids would not get sick from cancer and that all kids would have a home to live in.  I would also wish to sing like Elsa.

NAM: What is your biggest fear?
ELLA:  I am afraid of sharks and alligators

NAM: If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
ELLA:  If I could have dinner with anyone it would be Olaf from Frozen because he is so funny and would keep me laughing.



NAM: What is your favorite part about National American Miss?
ELLA:  I love so many things about National American Miss but I would have to say my favorite part is all of the girls I have been able to meet from all over the country and the friendships I have gained.

NAM: What is your definition of a NAM girl?
ELLA:  A NAM girl is just a girl like you and me! She is someone who is confident and is a role model to other girls.  

NAM: What do you like to do for fun?
ELLA:  What I like to do for fun is play with my sisters.  We love making up my own cheer routines and making food with my easy bake oven.  I also love doing arts and crafts!!

NAM: What makes your state unique?
ELLA:  Something that makes my state unique is that Wisconsin is known for its cheese and we are called “Cheeseheads”.



NAM: What is your favorite food?
ELLA:  My favorite food is strawberries.  I love that they are so juicy and sweet.

NAM: What was your first thought you had when you captured your national title?
ELLA:  I was so surprised when I won the national title.  I remember being so excited to see the reactions of my family and my coach Jordan.

NAM: People would be surprised to know what about you?
ELLA:  I like to watch old Pee Wee Herman episodes on Netflix and do a great Pee Wee impression!!


NAM: How did you get started with NAM? How long have you been involved?
ELLA:  I started competing in NAM when my cheer coach encouraged me to attend my state pageant.  State was my first pageant ever and I not only won my state title, but I am so lucky to have won the national title as well.  I am so happy that my coach introduced me to NAM because I have had these amazing experiences.  I have made so many friends, gained confidence and can speak in front of people without being nervous.



Ella Wallenfang The 2015-2016 National American Miss Princess!