Monday, August 29, 2016

Tips for Personal Introduction!

It's that time of the year where the top competitors from across the nation are preparing for the largest event in pageantry... NAM Nationals! Here are some tips to help you perfect your introduction for the Personal Introduction Competition!

The NAM Personal Introduction Competition focuses on public speaking. The goal of this competition is to equip NAM Finalist with the skills needed to address the public. Whether it is conquering your school presentation or a future job presentation, this competition teaches girls how to command the audience from the mic! 


1.) Pay attention to the time limit! For NAM State Pageants you have 30 seconds and for NAM Nationals you have 60 seconds. You will be timed as soon as you start speaking. It is important that you do not go over you allowed time. Practice so you finish your intro a few seconds behind your allowed time. 

2.) Do not wait till pageant week to write your intro. You want to practice before hand. You want to feel comfortable when you are on stage. A great way to do this, is to be comfortable with what you are saying. So practice makes perfect!

3.) Practice speaking in front of an audience! When we get in front of people that is when our nerves can kick in. So practice in front of your family, friends and people you aren't so comfortable with. You can say your intro in front of your class room, church or group activities. This is a great way to help you address an audience. 

4.) Command the audience before you start speaking. You want to grab the judges attention the moment you walk out on stage. Walk out with a great smile, make eye contact and work the room. 

5.) Dress the part! Make sure you follow the NAM guidelines when picking out your outfit for personal introduction. You need to wear something that you would wear for a job interview. Remember you are applying for a state or national title, you need to look like a titleholder. A nice suit or interview dress would be great! 

6.) Speak loud and clear! You want to make sure that the judges and audience can hear you. So speak up! We tend to speed up when we get a little a nervous so make sure you do not speak too fast. 

7.) Get Creative! It is important to stand out during the introduction competition, so get creative when putting yours together. Think of fun and ear catching ways to make a statement. Remember this is a great time for the judges to get to know you. Think of unique phrases and quotes to add to your intro. 

8.) Don't forget the required elements! Remember you must say your name, hometown and/or something interesting about you. 

9.) Complete your intro! We have seen this time and time again, a girl walks out on stage and rocks her intro and then hands back the mic and than runs off the stage! We do not want to this! After you are done speaking hand the mic back to the queen and continue working the room. Remember to smile and make eye contact as you exist the stage. 

10.) BE YOU! You hear us say this all the time at NAM, but it is so important that you be you! You want to be authentic. There can never be a better you! So be proud of who you are and let that shine through! 

Tips from National All- American Miss Courtlyn Burris 

"For your personal introduction, it's best to start by thinking of a few things that are most important to you and then integrate them into the introduction along with the required elements.  Stay away from mimicking someone else and try not to use words that you wouldn't normally use. Basically, just be yourself! You want your introduction to be as natural and as conversational as possible. Try to show elements of your own personality as well, I always love adding a little humor to my intro to make the judges smile.  Finally, and most importantly, practice, practice, practice. Practice alone, practice with an audience and practice with distractions. That way you can speak with confidence and be assured of doing your best!" Courtlyn Burris National All-American Miss

Sample Personal Introduction and Interview Outfits! 

NAM Girl in The News!

When 6-Year old Bella Baker was crowned NAM Miss Washington Princess over 33 other competitors last 
weekend, she had a decision to make. Every competitor had to bring school supplies to enter the competition 
and the winner would get to donate them all to a charity of their choice, on behalf of National American Miss. 
Luckily for Bella, she knew just the one, Tacoma Mainstay Charlie’s Dinosaur.
Charlie’s Dinosaur is a non-profit organization established in 2012 after the tragic death of Charlie and 
Braden Powell at their father’s hand. started by five Pierce County Detectives 
(including Ed Troyer, Baker’s grandfather,) to gather materials to help children moving out of abuse and
 into foster care. The children rarely have clean clothes, toiletries or anything to pass the time in the few days 
when they are in meetings, hearings and temporary care. Charlie’s Dinosaur is dedicated to helping 
kids out during this transitional period by providing these much needed items that can provide a sense of 

Baker delivered the car-full of goods to the organization on Monday, Aug. 22, just in time for Charlie’s Dinosaur’s
 big donation drive. Donations are currently being accepted at any TAPCO Credit Union branch 
(full list at the end of this article) or the Tacoma Weekly offices here at 2588 Pacific Highway.
“The community recognizes there’s always a need, its totally community driven which is what’s beautiful about it.
 A lot of our support comes from former foster kids, which is something I don’t think a lot of people recognize, 
I think that speaks to the importance of Charlie’s Dinosaur,” Lynelle Anderson said.
This isn’t the only competition Bella has won. She was crowned the IJM Miss Washington Jr Princess l
ast March and competed in an international competition in Virginia. Over Thanksgiving, she will head to
 California to represent Washington in a National American Miss competition.

“When Bella was crowned NAM Washington Princess last Saturday she became a dual title holder for two 
prestigious and well known pageants nationally and internationally. She is so excited to continue her work on
 behalf of foster children in her community,” Bella’s mother Nichole Baker said.
Another boost came from the 49’s Faithful Football kickoff barbeque, in which fans had to submit a box of 
school supplies to enter. Die-hard Seahawks fan Troyer braved the environment to collect the massive 
amount of donations. And if he can do that, does anyone really have an excuse not to give to the cause?
The fall is always a busy time for Charlie’s Dinosaur, as back to school supplies are always in demand,
 backpacks and binders are the order of the day and Bella has given the organization a huge boost in their goals. 
Other items needed include rolling luggage, pajamas, hair dryers, jeans and tops, zip-front hoodies, coats, toiletries,
 combs, brushes, art supplies and books.

Every Girl Needs That Little Black Dress...

This year The 2016 NAM National Finalist will rock these beautiful Mon Cheri dresses for their Opening Number Dance! We are so excited to partner with Mon Cheri! 

All NAM National Finalist that are attending NAM Nationals 2016 need to submit their size by September 12, 2016! Please go to for details! 

Lets her what NAM Girls are saying about these fabulous dresses: 

"When I first saw the opening number dress for this year's Nationals, I immediately loved the classy vintage inspired floral look. I know for sure Queens will feel confident and beautiful in this chic and playful floral dress that is so hot this season! " Del Smith Mom to National American Miss Jr. Teen Brianna Smith
"Floral dresess are definitely one of my favorites! A modest and stylish,  floral print dress that is perfect for any season. This dress give a gorgeous freshness and is a stand out! The style is perfect for today's girl, comfortable, fashionable, perfect fit and makes you feel naturally beautiful!" Brianna Smith National American Miss Jr. Teen 

"National American Miss and Mon Cheri Little dresses are the perfect combination for these young ladies to shine under the lights of the National Stage! It's a Delicate and Classy silhouette for the unique girls who wants to be remember for their sophisticated look but still very age appropriate. We love this dress!" Alba Izcoa Mom to Miss New Jersey Jr. Pre-Teen Alexandra Cristofoli

"This Mon Cheri dress Rocks! It fits like a glove and I certainly didn't need my crown to feel like a Queen with this dress. It's every little girls dream to have the perfect little dress for opening night and NAM now provides it thru Mon Cheri designs. How lucky are all the contestants in Hollywood to be wearing the dream Mon Cheri dress! I love it!" Alexandra Cristofoli Miss New Jersey Jr. Pre-Teen

Friday, August 26, 2016

Get to Know National American Miss Pre-Teen Shayla Montgomery!

NAM:  Tell us about yourself:
Shayla: I’m Shayla Montgomery your 2015-2016 National American Miss Pre-Teen.  I turn 14 next month.  I LOVE pancakes and NAM.  If you brought me a pancake in the shape of NAM I’d be your best friend forever :D

NAM:  What activities are you involved in?
Shayla: Volunteering in my community, volleyball, a representative of an amazing organization called Continue to Find Kindness and my church group

NAM:  What are your plans for the future?
Shayla: I’d like to major in psychology and have my own business in NYC.  One of my dreams is also to be Miss America.

NAM:  How would your friends describe you?
Shayla: My friend, Alvina recently said that I am super nice, funny and huggable.

NAM:  What moto or quote best describes you?
Shayla: Kind words are short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless

NAM:  What is the best advice you have ever received?
Shayla: Keep God 1st, love myself and to stand up for what is right even if I stand alone

NAM:  How did you prepare for the NAM National pageant?
Shayla: I worked HARD to achieve my goals.  I spent countless hours practicing with my daddy over the past few months, 5 sessions with Andrea Walters, and about 12 sessions with Greg Solomon.  The key is to have passion and never stop being yourself!

NAM:  Where is your favorite place to shop?
Shayla: I love shopping at Forever 21 because they have preppy clothes and I feel glamourous wearing them.

NAM:  How have pageants shaped your life?
Shayla: My confidence has really changed.  I use to be shy and now I am outgoing.  My mom always has said you can do anything you put your mind to and I believe it now.

NAM:  What is your most prized possession?
Shayla: My dog Ginger!  She always makes me smile and loves to cuddle with me

NAM:  What is your favorite movie?
Shayla: I don’t have a favorite.  However, if I had to choose one it would be the Little Mermaid.  I have loved it since I was a little girl.  I use to think that I was a mermaid.  My Papa would always say I was a fish out of water.

NAM:  What is your favorite TV show?
Shayla: Glee - I love the story and the voices are beautiful

NAM:  What is your favorite book?
Shayla: Wander – It’s about a boy who was bullied due to his “differences” he had a “face deformation” that he overcame and people accepted him for who he was

NAM:  What advice do you have for future NAM girls?
Shayla: Always be yourself.  If you don’t win the 1st time try again. Work hard throughout the year so you can go into your state competition being the best you can be while having fun and making friends

NAM:  If you could be famous for anything what would it be?
Shayla: Inventing a tool to make humans fly

NAM:  What is your dream job?
Shayla: My goal is to be a psychologist so I can help children and teens.  I believe we can change our world one young person at a time.

NAM:  How do you plan to use your title?
Shayla: I plan to spread my platform of anti-bullying with Continue to Find Kindness by traveling to schools and teaching kids how to recognize and resolve conflicts and to revolutionize kindness

NAM:  How do you volunteer in your community?
Shayla: My mom instilled in me since I was 4 to give back to our community.  I volunteer with Continue to Find Kindness, feed the homeless, visit elderly, and basically anywhere we find an opportunity.  I believe that helping others not only benefits them it benefits yourself. 

NAM:  What is your most embarrassing moment?
Shayla: When I was about 10 me and my friend Olivia raced and I tried to one up her and we were running down the street without shoes on and I fell and scarped my whole face.  I cried at first and then we laughed because I was being silly.

NAM:  If you had three wishes what would you wish for?
1.     Shayla:  To keep my National title forever w/ my sister queens,   End bullying across the world, and Live forever with my family with an endless supply of pancakes

NAM:  What is your favorite subject in school?
Shayla: Acting because it gives me a chance to be silly and do a variety of characters

NAM:  What is your biggest fear?
Shayla: Spiders & Tsunamis

NAM:  What is the biggest misconception about your generation?
Shayla: We are amazing people yet many cover it up with a mask

NAM:  Who is your role model?
Shayla: My daddy.  He pushes me to do amazing things in life and we have lots of fun together.  I am the biggest daddy’s girl ever! 
NAM:  If you could go back in time to any historical event what would it be?
I would go back to Martin Luther King Jr’s I have a dream speech.       

NAM:  Who is the most influential person in the world?
Shayla: I feel Camila Cabello because she dreamed of singing since she was little and decided to pursue her dream when she was 16 and now she has a gold, platinum and silver album with Fifth Harmony

NAM:  If you could have dinner with anyone who would it be?
Shayla: Fifth Harmony.  It’s my dream to meet them.  I’ve been a fan since X Factor and one of Camila since she was on YouTube.

NAM:  What is your favorite part about National American Miss?
Shayla: The amazing staff and the contestants. 

NAM:  How did you get started with NAM?  How long have you been involved in pageants?
Shayla: I received a postcard in the mail in 2014 and decided to try NAM.  May 2014 was my first pageant ever and I am so glad it was with National American Miss!

NAM:  What is your definition of a NAM girl?
Shayla: A person whose kind to everybody, a person who believes beauty isn’t just on the outside, someone who is confident in herself and who believes in service to others

NAM:  What do you like to do to have fun?
Shayla: Volleyball, modeling, art, photography, music and of course what girl doesn’t love to shop

NAM:  What makes your state unique?
Shayla: My state is green.  We care about the environment and are big on recycling and bicycling.

NAM:  What is your favorite food?
IShayla:  love pancakes and Caesar salad

NAM:  What makes you laugh?
Shayla: One of my really good friends, Shyrel.  Even hearing her name makes me smile.

NAM:  What was your first thought you had when you captured your national title?
Shayla: I did it!  All my hard work paid off!

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

IShayla:  can type with my toes

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Get to Know National American Miss Jr. Teen Brianna Smith!

NAM: Tell us about yourself: 
Brianna: I am a 15 yr. old sophomore in highschool who is involved in the Sports Medicine Academy and a part of my highschool soccer team. My brother Robert and I are very close. I have three dogs named Lady, Pepper and Simba.  Spending time with family and friends is one of my favorite things to do. I enjoy going to the beach, shopping and making people laugh.
NAM: What activities are you involved in? 
Brianna: I am an aggressive mid- feilder and forward on my High school's soccer team. I'm always working hard to do my personal best and growing to improve my teams overall performance.
NAM: What are your plans for the future? 
Brianna: I plan to graduate High School with top grades. Pursue a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Florida State University  with high hopes of becoming a News Anchor. I also would like to travel to Uganda to meet the little boy that I sponsor, named Isaac, whom I like to call my little brother. 
NAM: How would your friends describe you? 
Brianna: My friends would say that I am  outgoing, funny, creative and caring. They would be eager to say that I have a bubbly personality and love to entertain.

NAM: What motto or quote best describes you? 
Brianna: One quote that best describes me is " she believed she could, so she did" I have lived everday with this in mind because it has reminded me that no matter how tall, short, big, or small, behind every girl there is a desire to try.
NAM: What is the best advice you have ever received? 
Brianna: The best advice I have ever recieved is probably the most clear and even cliche advice anyone can recieve. "Try things outside of your comfort zone and take risks", before NAM I was a very shy girl and public speaking was no where in my ball park, since then I have become successful in public speaking.
NAM: How did you prepare for the NAM National pageant? 
Brianna: I prepared mentally by staying focused on my goal and having my family and friends ask me questions every chance I had between soccer, dance and school work.  Spiritually, asking God for guidance and persevarence. Physically by incorporating exercise to keep me feeling my best.  I also practiced my introduction everyday, in the car, in my room and just about anywhere I went. 
NAM: Where is your favorite place to shop? 
Brianna:  Hollister is my "it" store to shop. They have super cute, stlyish, and beachy clothes which works out well being that I live in Florida. Their clothes really showcases my personality, chic, modern and classy.

NAM: How have pageants shaped your life? 
Brianna: Six years ago I started pageants to overcome my shyness. My parents had always encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone, try new things and take risks. Little did I know I was on a life changing journey.  When that happened, I blossomed beyond my imagination.  No longer plagued by shyness, Pageantry help me tranform in to the driven, confident and determine public speaker that I am today.  
NAM: What is your most prized possession? 
Brianna: My most prized possession is the ring my parents gifted me when I was diagnosed with scoliosis. It is my army of strength, faith, and courage. It gives me reassurance that anyting is possible everytime I look at it.
NAM: What is your favorite movie? 
Brianna: Big Daddy starring Adam Sandler, Dylan and Cole Sprouse, is by far my favorite movie. This movie reminds me to be appreciative of everything that you have and never take for granted what's most important.
NAM: What is your favorite TV show? 
Brianna:  The Fosters, an American drama series that follows the lives of  a foster family. I like this show because it has so much diversity and their message is that no matter where you come from there are people in the world that are willing to accept you for who YOU are. With my mom being a social worker there is living proof that acceptance is not just in fairytales.

NAM: What is your favorite book? 
Brianna: Betta Gamma Pi, is a book that I most favor.  Is a story about a young sophomore student in college becoming a part of a sorority. I can relate to this book because I plan to be a part of my University's sorority and a sisterhood!
NAM: What advice do you have for future NAM girls? 
Brianna: "EVERYTHING YOU NEED IS ALREADY INSIDE"  Step out of what's holding you back and just do it! Do something today that your future self will thank you for. I would tell them to try things that they normally wouldn't do. Facing my fears of public speaking and overcoming my shyness has allowed me to not only achieve things as big as becoming the National American Miss Jr. Teen, but also use my experiences to help other young girls by empowering and isnpiring them to follow their dreams. To also have confidence and believe in themselves. So, ladies face your fears and take risks because only then will you know what you are capable of.
NAM: If you could be famous for anything what would it be? 
Brianna: To be the first 15 yr. old to win a Grammy award for my outstanding acting skills.
NAM: What is your dream job? 
Brianna: Fashion designing is one of my hidden talents. Therefore, having  my very own clothing line and becoming a famous iconic fashion designer would be a dream come true.

NAM: How do you plan to use your title? 
Brianna.  I plan to serve as a role model to girl all over the country. Empowering girls and young women to become agents of change, impacting their lives, their communities and the world.  I plan to be a beacon of hope to those girl who are shy and sit by themsleves in the back of the ballrooms terriffied of meeting new people. I also want to carry out the message of self- love, self- respect, and self- confidence. 
NAM: How do you volunteer in your community? 
Brianna: I am involved with the Florida Youth Advisory Committe as a patient, member and volunteer. I serve at the Ronald McDonald House providing meals to families of ill children and I sponsor a 4yr. old boy from Uganda by the name of Isaac.
NAM: What is your most embarrassing moment? 
Brianna: Last year on my very first day of highschool,  I had one goal in mind and that was to make it to class on time... To say the worst, I ended up getting to class late. All I can remember is the embarrasment plastered across my face when I walked in to class and all of my new classmates were starring at me with their peircing eyes. I know I turned every different color, It was definitely a moment I could never forget.
NAM: What is your favorite subject in school? 
Brianna: English has always been my favorite subject. When I'm writing It's like I'm playing a role in a story that I've already experienced. This class has definitily helped me improve my skills in poetry and in writing.  

NAM: If you had three wishes what would you wish for? 
Brianna: If I had three wishes my very first wish would be to have a supply of soccer materials to last me an entire season. Somehow, by the end of the season, I end up missing one cleat or one shin gaurd. My second wish would be to meet Isaac. A lovely 4yr. old boy that I sponsor and whom we share the same birthday.  My third wish would be to live a hppy and healthy life with family and friends.
NAM: What is your biggest fear? 
Brianna:  My biggest fear is not trying.  I am a firm believer that If we don't try or experience new things we will not be able to grow.
NAM: What is the biggest misconception about your generation? 
Brianna: That our generation lacks communication, completely dependend on technology and is spoiled.  I think that my generation is actually goal oriented who use resources, such as technology, to help us in any way possible.  We are a blessed generation that is certainly going places with so many opportunities ahead of us.
NAM: Who is your rolemodel? 
Brianna: The first person that comes to mind is Stacy Lewis.  A Pro golfer with a remarkable story of strength and perseverance as she was faced with Scoliosis during the peek of her golfing career. Like Stacy,  I was also diagnosed with Scoliosis. One thing for sure and  beyond our adversities, we have both  accomplished great things and would not allow the sum of our spinal degrees define who we are.

NAM: If you could go back in time to any historical event what would it be? 
Brianna: A historical event I would  like to go back to is when Ford created the first car. This was such a pivotal time and to be able to experience it would be incredible. 
NAM: Who is to most influential person in the world? 
Brianna: For me, Malala is one of the most influential young woman of today generation. After being shot down by the Taliband, Malala cotinued to spread her message of education for every child  in her country and around the world. She has earned herself a Nobel Peace Prize for being stronger than fear.  
NAM: If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be? 
Brianna: I would love to have dinner with my "little brother" Isaac a 4yr. old boy whom I sponspor through Compassion International. Being that I have yet to meet him, I would love to catch up with him on all of his great ideas and favorite things he likes to do!
NAM: What is your favorite part about National American Miss? 
Brianna: Ohhh how I love NAM! Although I love dressing up for all of the required and optional competitions, the rehearsals are always so fun and have grown to be my favorite. It's a time where you know your dance moves are on point and get to meet so many new girls. Beyond this, I love what NAM does for girls and the power and strength we feel when being onstage, it's a reminder of how beatiful we all truly are

NAM: How did you get started with NAM? How long have you been involved? 
Brianna: My journey with NAM began when I received a postcard in the mail inviting me to an open call. However my parents were reluctant at first because I was a very shy girl who would not speak in class, had no friends and feared being around people. When my parents asked me if I would be interested in participating in a pageant and I said "yes" they were taken by surprised. I vividly remember, standing on that big stage starring at fear in the face.  I made top 10 on my very first try. Since participating in NAM I have been able to overcome my shyness and fears.   I have been blessed to be a part of this system for 6 amazing years.

What is your definition of a NAM girl? 
Brianna: A NAM girl is someone who knows who she is.  What she is capable of doing. She is focused on her short and long-term goals. She inspires others, she is kind and humble. A NAM girl has strength, has respect, has confidence, has love for herself and most importantly has a giving heart.
NAM: What do you like to do for fun? 
Brianna: I'm an all around kind of girl who enjoys the outdoors.  So definitily getting with a few of my friends and heading to the beach on a sunny day is a most.  The mall is another place I frequently visit, shopping with my mom is so entertaining and fun! Lastly, I enjoy going to my friends house to ride dirt bikes on these huge sand piles that we build ourselves. I love to have a blast.
NAM: What makes your state unique? 
Brianna: My state sure knows how to attract people with our oh-so-famous amusement parks. A few places that make my state unique is the Kennedy Space Center. This is the only place in our Country that shuttles launch from.  The interactive shuttle they have for visitors allows you to experience what's like to be on a shuttle to space. Another unique place is St. Augustine.  A place of historical bacground.  I've always wanted to go back in time, so everytime I visit St Agustine it's like I'm visiting a piece of the past.

NAM: What is your favorite food? 
Brianna:  Chicken Noodle Soup is by far my favorite food.  I was introduced to chicken noodle soup by my grandpa at the tender age of two years old. Sadly shorty after my grandpa passed away, but I have taken on the tradition of making the famous chicken noodle soup. My personal tradition is to try a different flavored soup anywhere I go
NAM: What was your first thought you had when you captured your national title?
Brianna: My very first  thought as I heard my name called as the new National Jr. Teen was " OMG, I DID IT! DREAMS DO COME TRUE WHEN YOU BELIEVE!" I imagined my parents reactions. I knew my mother was extatic somewhere in the ballroom and my dad who was watching from  a far must of been jumping up and down calling everyone he knew.  It has been a whirlwind of a week to say the least!  I came to nationals with an injured ankle from soccer. So being announced as the National Casual Wear Model and National American Miss Jr. Teen was an incredible accomplishment and proved that no matter what may stand in the way of you reaching your goal(s), with determination and perseverance anything is possible.  Truly growing as a person and creating memories with everyone I met has been a blessing!
NAM: People would be surprised to know what about you? 
Brianna: Many people would be surprised to kow that I was once a shy girl. I would always run behind my mom, afraid to speak to people. I wouldn't raise my hand in school and I was always bottled up and kept to myself. At the age of 10 yrs. I began with NAM and my very first time I said my personal introduction I fell in love with speaking. Today, one of my greatest passions is public speaking and have had great opportunities doing so.  I am no longer that shy girl thanks to National American Miss for what they instill in todays' young women.