Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Former National American Miss Teen Says " I Do" !

 We all know Jena Diller as our 2011-2012 National American Miss Teen, this weekend she married the love of her life and became Mrs. Reindel! Jena and Tony said " I do" this weekend in front of friends and family from all over the nation! Jena started with NAM many years ago. She first was crowned Miss Ohio Pre-Teen 2005. She then went on to also capture the titles of Miss Ohio Jr. Teen and Teen, and of course her national win in 2011. Jena also has worked as a choreographer and the state and national level. We are so very excited for this talented couple and we wish them a lifetime of happiness! 

Jena defined the true meaning of NAM at her wedding. She had a dozen NAM girls from across the country attend her big day. You see, pageantry isn't about the crown and banners that you take home, its about the friendships and memories that you make! After all isn't a true friend defined as someone who stands with you when you tie the knot! In attendance was former National American Miss Jr. Teen Regan Spoltman , Former Miss Florida Ashlhea Louis, Former Miss California Jr. Teen Jordan Fowler, Former National American Miss Teen Olivia Heineken, Former National All-American Miss Teen Kasey Knowles, Former National American Miss Ashely Tucker Swathwood, Former National All- American Miss Amanda Moreno, Former Miss Ohio Jr. Teen Haylee Koester, Former National American Miss Pre-Teen Summer Haag,
Former Miss Ohio Courtney Diller- Reiman, 
and Former Miss Ohio Pre-Teen Shayla Koester. 

Jena's Sister, Courtney stood by her side as her made of honor! Jena and Courtney shared the NAM National stage in 2011! Jena took home the national title and Courtney was named 3rd runner!

Take a look at Jena's beautiful wedding party! Three of her bridesmaids are NAM girls!

Congratulations to this beautiful couple! Love your NAMily! 

Highlight Video of The 2015 NAM Nebraska Pageant!

Check out this awesome highlight video of The 2015 NAM Nebraska Pageant! 

Some words from the 2014 Illinois Princess Cover Girl Ellie Bennett:

I had the most amazing experience being a part of the NAM family. My favorite part of being Miss Illinois Princess Cover Girl was organizing my own 5K fun-run for St. Jude Children's Hospital-"Rockford Rockin' it for St. Jude," I helped a lot of sick kids with the money we raised. I am also collecting books that I will be donating to my charity of choice! It's been such a great experience for me and my family and I can't wait to crown the next Miss Illinois Princess Cover Girl!
Ellie Bennett

Monday, May 11, 2015

Take a look at Miss Illinois Jr. Teen Cover Girl 2014!

Being crowned the 2014 Illinois Jr. Teen Cover Girl and the 2014-2015 National Cover Girl has truly been a blessing for me. It has been an honor and a privilege to represent NAM and my hometown of Lansing, Illinois while participating in a variety of service projects. 
After being crowned I delivered the school supplies collected at State to our local charity organization. Soon after that I helped at the Taste of Thornton’s princesses and superhero back-to-school breakfast for kids. Then in October my sister queens and I volunteered at the Walk of Hope for cancer, where we ran games and activities for children. Over the Christmas holiday a few of my sister queens joined me at the Lansing Food Pantry, a wonderful community service in my home town. We spent a few hours passing out food to people in need and meeting people. I also spent some time over my spring break going back to my grade school, St John’s Lutheran, to read and play with the 3 yr old and pre-k classes. Most recently I joined a couple of my sister queens at the Homewood Christian Academy’s Inner Beauty Walk pageant. 
Giving back to my community and being a role model has positively affected the way I conduct myself and I have NAM to thank for this. This has been a year to remember and I plan to continue being of service in my community. Thank you to my sister queens for being so great, it has been a pleasure playing, laughing and working with you this year and I am proud and happy to call you my sisters for life!
Thank you NAM
Brianna Nicole Jackson
Your 2014 Illinois Jr. Teen Cover Girl

It's been an incredible year for Miss Pennsylvania Jr. Teen 2014!

For as long as I live, I will never forget that surreal moment when I won the 2014 Pennsylvania Jr. Teen title.
I am having the time of my life as part of the National American Miss family. It has given me the perfect opportunity to express myself and share my talents. Whether I am speaking, singing or acting, I always feel accomplished when I leave the stage. 
I also had the most amazing experience at Nationals in Anaheim, California. I came in 1st Runner up, 4th Runner up in Talent and 3rd Runner up in Actress. The state queens voted me 1st Runner up for Miss Personality and the choreographers awarded me a spirit stick. 
One of the perks of being the 2014 Miss Pennsylvania Jr. Teen was being chosen as the Ambassador for Queens for a Cause. Queens for a Cause is an organization of queens that identify needs in the community and fulfill them. We raised money by doing sparkle princess and army soldier makeovers at the Mt. Pleasant Glass & Ethnic Festival. We used the funds for “Snacks for Soldiers” for deployed troops, “Games for Residents” for the elderly at nursing homes and other charitable initiatives. 
I would like to leave you with a few final thoughts. My message is one of hard work and perseverance. Don’t ever let anyone tell you what you can’t do. You can achieve anything that you put your mind to. You are amazing, you are unique and you are a NAM girl. Dream and dream big! Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Much love and the very best of wishes for your incredible success, I am your 2014 Miss Pennsylvania Jr. Teen, Mariah Malloy

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

It has been an amazing year for Miss Kansas Samantha Roberts

My year as the National American Miss Kansas has been an exciting one. I started my year visiting the Rainbow Center where I helped host a Princess Party. While there I met Miss Amazing 2014. Who would of thought that a princess party would bring so much fun and joy to both the kids and I that I would be asked to make a return visit to host a carnival. I loved spending my time with the kids and they will always hold a special place in my heart. My second favorite appearance was Models for Miracles. It was a great experience being able to walk the runway in some interesting outfits all while raising money for Children’s Miracle Network. 
At Nationals I had a great time hanging out with my family. I met Disney Princesses, Goofy, and of course Peter Pan and I bonded over a trip to Space Mountain where he asked me many questions about my adult. I met so many different girls from all walks of life that will forever be my friends. Most importantly I learned many things about myself. I learned to have confidence in myself. I learned interviews and intros are not as easy as they seem, But most importantly I learned to walk tall and be proud of whom I am.
I would like to thank my family for encouraging me to take a chance and do 
something different. Special thanks to my sister for the endless hours of hair and makeup lessons. For the secrets of how to walk in heels and for answering my never-ending questions. To my sister Queens I love you all and I cant wait to see what you do next.

Forever Your 2014 Miss Kansas
Samantha Roberts

Friday, April 24, 2015

Former NAM Winner needs our VOTES for College Scholarship!

The 2007 Miss Ohio Jr. Pre-Teen Sarah King is graduating high school this year and is on her way to a bright and successful future! 
Sarah needs our help to receive a $5,000 college scholarship! 
Just click the link below, watch Sarah's powerful video and VOTE! You can vote each day for the next two weeks. Share this with all your friends so we can help this young scholar achieve her goal and bring home this scholarship! We are so proud of Sarah and we can't wait to see all that she will accomplish! 

Sarah when she captured The 2007 Miss Ohio Jr. Pre-Teen Title! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Take a look at Miss Kansas Jr. Pre-Teen Cover Girl!

I have had a diversified year of service so far as your 2014 Miss Kansas Jr. Pre-Teen Cover Girl. I have volunteered at the Our Lady of Guadalupe school for underprivileged children and represented a strong role-model for these larger Hispanic inner city children. I have collected donations for Wayside waifs, a local no-kill animal shelter and also sponsored and organized a drive for battered women's shelter. This past year of service has been a memorable experience I will never forget!
Madeline Garcia
2014 Miss Kansas Jr. Pre-Teen Cover Girl

Its been a wonderful year for Miss Colorado Princess!

Wow what a year! I’ve enjoyed so many moments being your 2014 Colorado Princess. Being a Princess is more than "just wearing the crown and banner", it’s about getting up doing things! I didn’t wait and started my service right away. I donated all the school supplies to four schools at Fort Carson, Colorado 
I was also fortunate to volunteer for several organizations, including National Mill Dog Rescue, show off my cooking skills at the Ronald McDonald House, raise food donations for the local food bank and ring the Salvation Army bell during the holidays. The list goes on with several other organizations including Race for the Cure 5K, honoring my Nana and other breast cancer survivors. 
While I carried a smile in my heart and wore one to match on my face, I participated in several parades with my sister queens, it was so much fun. Oh, and speaking of smiles I was even featured in the November 2014 issue of Denver’s Asian Magazine. 
God has blessed me beyond what my 8 year old mind can ever imagine. I met other girls I can call friends for life while visiting the Oklahoma, North Texas and Arizona pageants as a visiting Royalty Queen during the summer. The highlight of my year was when I went to Nationals, I met many more new friends, had lots of fun at Disneyland and placed 2nd for volunteer award. God has blessed me with friends for life and wonderful opportunities, giving me great confidence during my year of service as the 2014 Miss Colorado Princess, Emily Bourdon.

Featuring Miss Pennsylvania Pre-Teen!

A dream three years in the making came true when I was crowned the 2014 Miss Pennsylvania Pre-Teen. During my year of service, I have had the opportunity to give back to my community in so many ways. My year of service began with donating school supplies to the Norwin Rotary Backpack Program, which provides needy students with materials for the school year. I then visited Pittsburgh Children's Hospital, spending time with children in the playroom. Next was able to volunteer at the Mount Pleasant Glass and Ethnic Festival with Queens for a Cause, making over girls and boys into "sparkle princesses" and "army soldiers". 
Twice I served Ronald McDonald House Charities, working with my sister queens to clean the playroom at the Hershey facility and running in the Pittsburgh facility's 5k Color Run. In addition to those opportunities, I volunteered at The Reflections of Grace Foundation's Race for Grace, a charity near and dear to my community, which raises money for pediatric brain cancer patients' families and research. 
During my year of service I was able to make appearances at several community parades and special events. At NAM nationals, I proudly represented Pennsylvania making so many great friends. I have loved every moment of this experience and I'm so thankful for the opportunities with which I have been blessed. I will carry the confidence and poise I have gained as Miss Pennsylvania Pre-Teen with me into every new experience. Thank you, National American Miss, especially Sandy and Nicole and all of team Palmgren, for this amazing opportunity.
Pilar Swankler
2014 Miss Pennsylvania Pre-Teen

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Take a Look at Miss Kansas Princess 2014!

July 19th 2014 started my year of service as the 2014 National American Miss Kansas Princess. This year has been a wonderful and exciting year.  
I would like to thank National American Miss for the opportunities to be able to help others in my community. I volunteered at many organizations like the Ronald McDonald House and Bonner animal rescue. NAM also has helped me grow into a wonderful role model for other girls by building my self-confidence and communication skills. 
I loved every moment at the National Pageant and at Disney Land. During my week in California I made many lifelong friends from all over the United States and experienced lots of life long memories.
This year in the NAMily has been a wonderful year full of great memories. 
Always and forever,
Leanna Larson
Miss Kansas Princess 2014

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Check out Miss Pennsylvania Princess Charli Donaldson!

National American Miss gave me the opportunity to try something new and it has turned into a series of moments in my life that have been amazing. After being crowned your 2014 Miss Pennsylvania Princess, I attended the National Pageant in Disneyland! I made new friends from all over the country, placed 4th Runner Up in the Spokesmodel competition and came in 1st Runner Up Overall!  
I have teamed up with my local library to hold card drives to benefit Meals on Wheels and our active military - and I am helping to start a service program that will meet regularly at the library! I was invited to meet my mayor, my county executive, my state senator and my U. S. Congressman! I am even getting to go to Washington D.C. and tour the Capitol!  
Being a NAM Princess has helped to create great moments in my life that have grown my confidence, my public speaking abilities and my awareness that I can make a difference in my community. 
I am your 2014 National American Miss Pennsylvania Princess, Charli Donaldson, and I invite you try something new because "great moments are born from great opportunities!" (Herb Brooks)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Say Hello to Miss Pennsylvania Covergirl

I truly feel blessed and honored with winning the title of 2014 Miss Pennsylvania Jr. Pre-Teen Cover Girl. During my 2014 year of service, I knew my mission would be to continue to help families in my community. I took part in several 5k runs to support finding a cure for Parkinson's disease. Thanks to my NAM crown and title, our local Meteorologist Dave Murphy asked for my help in starting the 2014 "Moving Day" 5k run and walk in Central Philadelphia. My new friend, Amy Moore, at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia helped me make a donation of art supplies, puzzles and games to the children staying at the hospital. Last but certainly not least, I hosted a pool party to raise $500.00 for new books at my school. I got to see my friends and cool down from the summer heat. What a blast! Thank you to Ms. Sandy and Ms. Nicole for providing me the opportunity to develop my skills in poise, manners, giving speeches and grace.
Hugs and Kisses,
Hannah Yannelli
2014 Miss Pennsylvania Jr. Pre Teen Cover Girl

Check Out Miss Oklahoma Teen Samantha Martin!

My year as the 2014 Oklahoma Teen has been such a blessing and a gateway to so many things in my life. I had so much fun riding the University of Oklahoma Homecoming parade with my sister queens and getting to donate books and school supplies to the Positive Tomorrow's School which is a program for homeless children. I have also worked to help feed families fighting hunger at my regional food bank. Getting the opportunities of a lifetime to give back to those in my community is so very humbling and exciting to see the difference that I am making. Since competing in my first NAM pageant at the age of six, I have gained an overwhelming amount of confidence, poise and people skills. My transformation from a timid six year old to a strong willed, outgoing leader is exactly what National American Miss is all about. I am so thankful for this chance to be a positive role model in young girls' lives and I owe it all to the NAM system.
With Love, 
Samantha Beth Martin
2014 Miss Oklahoma Teen

Friday, April 3, 2015

Say Hello to Miss Pennsylvania Teen Victoria Piekut

When I first stepped onto the National American Miss Pennsylvania stage, I was there to gain more stage presence and confidence with my Opera singing. Just three short years later, with my newly found confidence, I was able to capture the title of 2014 National American Miss Pennsylvania Teen. 
National American Miss has opened so many doors for me and given me incredible opportunities. This year, I have been able to volunteer for many organizations like the Light The Night Walk, ride in parades with my sister queens, and make appearances with my State Representatives and Senators. I was also given the opportunity of a lifetime to compete at the national pageant in Anaheim, California. 
After having unforgettable experiences at Disneyland and in Los Angeles, I placed fourth runner up for talent and first runner up in the overall pageant! 
Over these past three years with National American Miss, I’ve made so many lifelong friends from all over the country, and gained public speaking skills as well as confidence. National American Miss has helped make me into the girl I am today, and I am forever grateful. I can’t wait to see what is in store for the rest of my year!
Victoria Piekut
2014  Miss Pennsylvania Teen

It's Been an Awesome Year for Miss Pennsylvania Jr. Pre-Teen 2014!

One of my biggest dreams came true when I was crowned as your 2014 Miss Pennsylvania Jr. Pre teen Division 1 Queen. I am honored to say that I have been able to give back to my community through donating school supplies and books to help my local libraries and the Olivet boys and girls club. I also volunteered my time at two Ronald McDonald House Charities and a local nursing home. I am thankful for the opportunity to have met some great leaders in my community such as Senator Judy Schwank, and Governor Tom Corbett and I was blessed to be a part of two parades. Then, off to Nationals I went, where I made many new friends and I even placed top 10 in the country. I would like to thank NAM and all of the wonderful staff for such a great year. Best wishes to my successor! It has been such a wonderful experience to serve my community and represent the great state of Pennsylvania! 
With love your 2014 Miss Pennsylvania Jr. Pre Teen Aliya Wise

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Meet Miss Kansas Teen Kendra Leet!

My year as the 2014 Miss Kansas Teen has been nothing short of amazing. I kept busy by staying involved in my community. I rode in parades with my sister queens, attended open calls and workshops and did tons of volunteer work for multiple organizations.
In November, I met some of my best friends from all over the country at the national competition. I was honored and humbled to have left placing top five in both spokesmodel and talent and also as the national Miss Personality winner. 
I took my first step on the National American Miss stage as a shy 9 year old girl. I would never have thought that 11 years later I would be the woman I am today. Thank you National American Miss for making all of my dreams come true. It has been an amazing journey. 
Kendra Leet 
Miss Kansas Teen 2014

Meet Miss Oklahoma Princess Cover Girl Kendall Kingly!

From your National American Miss 2014 Oklahoma Princess Cover Girl Kendall Kingry:
Since I was crowned the National American Miss 2014 Oklahoma Princess Cover Girl and 2014-2015 National Princess Cover Girl, I have had a blast!  
I just wanted to do a pageant to have fun and meet new friends, but I've gotten to do so much more! I like volunteering because it helps people and put smiles on their faces. One of my favorite things I've done was help with the Tip-A-Cop event for Special Olympics. I got to be a waitress with police officers and Special Olympics athletes. We had so much fun and raised a lot of money. I've also worked with a local nursing home, the Infant Crisis Center, Teacher's Warehouse and several other organizations and will continue to volunteer as I grow up.  
Spending time with my sister queens has also been great - I have new friends for life! I've ridden in two parades and even got to throw out the first pitch at an Oklahoma City Redhawks game! To the next Cover Girl, I hope you love it as much as I have and you are able to dream big!

Miss Illinois Pre-Teen Brianna Lewis has been extremely busy during her year of service!

My year of service has been truly rewarding and uplifting so far, just as I expected. Serving my community as a representative of National American Miss is not only a dream come true, but something I am committed to doing throughout my reign. I have given of my time and talents to various organizations to help out when needed. In August, after I was crowned, I passed out the school supplies collected at the Illinois state pageant from all the wonderful state finalists. In September, I helped my school collect food for those less fortunate. In October, my Illinois sister queens and I organized a Kidz Zone for the fall Walk of Hope at my local Cancer Support Center and I also helped during the opening ceremonies of Homewood Christian Academy's Walk-A-Thon. In December I collected toys for my church's mission's group and in January I helped pass out food at a food pantry in Lansing, Illinois. For February I helped spread love by joining my Illinois pageant friends in making Valentines for the veterans at Hines VA Hospital. In March I began work on helping to coordinate the Inner Beauty Walk, which is an event held annually to promote positive self-image for girls. As you can see, I love helping others! It is my goal to show my community that together we can make a difference when we serve and support others.  
Living My Dreams,
Brianna Nicole Lewis
2014 National American Miss Illinois Pre-Teen

Meet Miss Oklahoma Jr.Pre-Teen Cover Girl!

My year as the 2014 National American Miss Oklahoma Jr. Pre-Teen Cover Girl has been amazing! I have been blessed with new friends and new experiences. I began my year of service by delivering the books that were collected at the state pageant. The students at Millwood Academy of Oklahoma City were so grateful to be the recipients of such a wonderful gift. I was also able to volunteer several hours at the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank Distribution Center packaging food for the less fortunate of my community.  
Other highlights of my year of service involved meeting several influential leaders in Oklahoma including the Mayor of Oklahoma City, Mr. Mick Cornett, the Chief of the Muscogee Creek Nation, Chief George Tiger, as well as several others. These various leaders inspired me to do my best in my role as Cover Girl, and their encouragement helped me capture the title of National American Miss Jr. Pre-Teen National Cover Model.
Lastly, getting to know the NAM State Sister Queens will be a memory and a bond of friendship that will last a lifetime.
I am Leah Hughes, your 2014 National American Miss Oklahoma Jr. Pre-Teen Cover Girl!

Check out Miss Oklahoma Pre-Teen Anna Lunday!

This year as the National American Miss 2014 Oklahoma Pre-Teen has been a wonderful experience. I have made friends, had an amazing time at Nationals and enjoyed volunteering. I was able to donate the school supplies I received at the NAM State Pageant to something very close to my heart, my family, and my friends. They were donated to the temporary school that has been set up in Moore after the March 25, 2015 tornado. I attend Moore Public Schools and know first hand how my community has suffered. It has been such an honor representing NAM and the great state of Oklahoma. I have been truly blessed and never take one minute for granted. 
Anna Lunday

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

It's Been an Amazing Year for Raigan Holgate Miss Colorado Teen 2014

Hello everyone,
Being an athlete all my life, I never knew that I would find my true passion in pageantry. My first pageant with National American Miss was three years ago. What I expected to be just a fun experience, changed my life. Through National American Miss I have improved my self-confidence, interview techniques and public speaking skills not to mention I have made friendships that will last a lifetime. I was blessed to have this year as you National American Miss Colorado Teen. Through my year I have gotten to spend time volunteering, making appearances, meeting people from all over Colorado and even placed in the top 10 at Nationals. This year has truly been one of the best experiences of my life, and I look forward to seeing what the next year holds for my successor. 

God bless you all, 

Meet Miss Illinois Jr. Pre-Teen that went on to be crowned National American Miss Jr. Pre-Teen!

So far my year of service as your 2014 Miss Illinois Jr. Pre-Teen has been a great experience. Ever since I went to California in November to represent Illinois at Nationals and won the title of 2014-15 National American Miss Jr. Pre-Teen, I have been very busy! I've delivered meals, and donated clothes, gift cards, food and toiletries to my platform "the Lake County Haven" which helps homeless women and children become independent again. I have also donated many hours to other community services like Feed My Starving Children, the Ronald McDonald House, donated over 100 pairs of jeans to homeless teens, volunteered with my sister queens at a food pantry and at a 5k walk, made Valentine's Day cards for Veterans, as well as made new friends and numerous appearances all over the United States. Needless to say my year of service so far has been an amazing one that I will never forget! I am so thankful to NAM!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Meet Miss Colorado Jr. Pre-Teen Anoyoh Mancho!

Since I was crowned the National American Miss 2014 Colorado Jr. Pre-Teen queen last summer I started my year of service right away. I donated all the community service book donations collected pageant weekend to the Colorado Fire Station #8 for them to distribute throughout the community. I also participated in a back to school drive with the Colorado Springs fire department which favored the disadvantage inner city children and supplied them with school supplies. One Saturday per month I volunteered at the local food bank where I helped collect items that were donated to the local food bank to help stamp hunger in our community. I was even featured in the Denver digest magazine and the CHCC magazine for my volunteer work in the community. The highlight of my year was when I went to the National Pageant in California. I made so many new friends, had lots of fun, and placed top 10 in the country. It has been an amazing experience so far as your 2014 Colorado Jr. Pre-Teen queen.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Meet The 2014-2015 National American Miss Jr. Teen Elizabeth Saby!

NAM: Tell us about yourself:
Liz: I am a 16 year old sophomore at Mora High School. I have a 5 year old brother named Robby, a black lab named baby, and a cat named Lily. I live in a town where the population is 3,571 people! I love summer, swimming and adventures. 

NAM: What activities are you involved in?
 Liz: I run cross country, ski, golf, figure skate, I'm in student council and I love to do plays and musicals! 

NAM: What are your plans for the future?
Liz: I plan on getting a degree in medicine and becoming a missionary. I'd like to serve in the Middle East or India, healing wounds and spreading the word of God. I also would like to travel the world. 
Ready to hit the NAM National Stage for the opening number!

NAM: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Liz: You can only do you're best, and when you do so, that's what should make you the most satisfied. 

NAM: How did you prepare for the NAM National pageant?
Liz: I practiced whenever I could! In the fall I had such a busy schedule with cross country and play practice that whenever I had free time I was practicing. Walking in my shoes on weekends, running through my introduction between classes, the excitement of the national pageant never left my mind! 

NAM: Where is your favorite place to shop?
Liz: Love love love Forever 21. The clothes they have are so chic and everything is adorable!
National Sister Queens!

NAM: How have pageants shaped your life?
Liz: Pageants have made me a confident, motivated, approachable person. NAM has taught me to be myself, and trying to fit the mold won't do me any good. Over the years I've realized this, and I've decided that the best you can be is yourself. (:

NAM: What is your most prized possession?
Liz: My Bible. This is my road map to life. I take it with me everywhere, and everything I need to be happy is written in it. 

NAM: What is your favorite movie?
 Liz:The Breakfast Club is #1 because it's a movie about real life. The 5 teenagers could've very well been born in my generation and the movie would still relate to life. Moral of the story: 80s teenagers aren't much different from today's. 
NAM: What is your favorite TV show?
Having a blast at The NAM National Pageant! 
NAM: What advice do you have for future NAM contestants?
Liz:Don't be discouraged or compare yourself to other contestants. It drops your confidence level! Remember you can only do and be your best!

NAM: If you could be famous for anything what would it be?
 Liz: I'd like to be the first woman to base jump off of Burj Khalifa in Dubai (the tallest building in the world!)

NAM: What is your dream job?
Liz: To own my own clothing shop on Venice Beach. 

NAM: How do you plan to use your title?
Liz: I want to inspire people to be themselves. A lot of teenagers face pressure from authority figures about who they should be and what they should do. I believe strongly in loving who you are and doing something that makes you happy. 

NAM: How do you volunteer in your community?
Liz: I serve at my local soup kitchen, pack meals for kids against hunger, and volunteer at my church. 

NAM: What is your most embarrassing moment?
 At Disneyland at the National Pageant all of the jr teen contestants were told to runout of the castle for a video. I started to run in the mob of girls and my flip flop got stepped on and it fell off. On of the choreographers handed it back and I ran out at least 5 seconds after everyone. Maybe I should've asked for a redo...

Ready for Check -In at the national pageant! 
NAM: What is the biggest misconception about your generation?
Liz: Adults tend to think that my generation doesn't have goals. The truth is, we aren't just lazy teenagers playing video games and tweeting. Everyone has goals and dreams, especially us! 
NAM: If you could go back in time to any historical event what would it be?
Liz: I would like to experience the 70s. It's such an interesting time in history where teenagers stood up for what they believed in: peace. 

NAM: Who is to most influential person in the world?
Liz: I think Malala is an extremely influential person. Not only did she speak about what she believed in when it was forbidden, she escaped death, and continued to speak to many about what she believes. I like to think she is more influential because she is a young woman, who grew up not having power. 

Formal Wear Modeling! 
NAM: What is your favorite part about National American Miss?
Liz: NAM encourages young girls that they don't need to wear makeup to be pretty. 

NAM:How long have you been involved?
Liz: I got a letter in the mail when I was 6. I competed that summer and I loved it. I have competed in NAM seven times, winning my state title last summer. To travel to Nationals to compete and win has been my dream since my first year at NAM. 

NAM: What is your definition of a NAM girl?
 Liz:Someone who is caring and real. All of the previous and current NAM queens I have met are in fact both! 

The Crowning Moment!

NAM: What do you like to do for fun?
Liz: I love rollerblading in the summer! My best friend Emily and I will spend endless time on bike trails around my town.
NAM: What makes your state unique?
Liz: We are a very friendly state! It's uncommon to walk down the street in my small town without a smile or a hello from the person passing by. 

NAM: What is your favorite food?
Liz: Cosmic Brownies and my mom's homemade bean soup.

The 2014-2015 NAM National Queens!

NAM: What makes you laugh?
 Liz:My friends know how to make me laugh! Without them, I don't know how I'd make it through the school day!

NAM: What was your first thought you had when you captured your national title?
Liz: After the initial shock of OMG, I thought, someone needs to tell my dad! Luckily, he already knew, because he was watching the feed from home. 

NAM: People would be surprised to know what about you?
 I am a little bit of a tomboy. My dad farms beef cattle and I have raised a calf on my own! I can dig worms for fishing, bait the hook, take the fish off, and fillet them all by myself. 
Who is ready for NAM Nationals !?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Meet The 2014-2015 National All-American Miss Celinda Ortega!

NAM: Tell us about yourself:
Celinda:  I’m an optimistic, driven, 20 year old college junior at Montclair State University majoring in public relations and minoring in acting. On campus I am proud to be involved in the National Honor Society, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the Latin American Student Organization, environmental club, and fashion club.  I’m an aspiring film actress, so after school, I’m usually running around in New York City for modeling and acting gigs, classes, auditions, and shoots. I’ve been honored to be a part of awesome projects such as dancing as a little monster for Lady Gaga at the VMA’s, working in shows like Celebrity Ghost Stories, Power, The Carrie Diaries, and films like The Wolf of Wall Street and The Other Woman, and a couple Indie films coming out next year! Some of my hobbies include yoga, swimming, and cooking.  Of course, being a Jersey girl I love shopping, eating tons of pizza, and spending time down at our beautiful shores with my family during my spare time.  I also love being involved in my community.  Some of my favorite places to volunteer at are Halfway Hounds, a dog rescue organization that helps homeless dogs or dogs who have been in abusive conditions around the tri-state area find loving homes; doing yoga with the elderly every Fridays at my local senior center, Brightside Manor, and mentoring elementary and middle school girls in urban communities through self-esteem workshops and arts programs to motivate and encourage underprivileged youth.  One thing I have always wanted to do is travel around the country, so I am excited to spend my year touring various state pageants and meeting other amazing, ambitious girls like me!

NAM: What activities are you involved in?
Celinda: At school, I’m an active member of the National Honor Society, PRSA, fashion club, Latin American Student Organization, and the environmental club. Off campus, I take pride in training and taking care of dogs at Halfway Hounds, coordinating self -esteem workshops in urban schools with Miss Lucky Star Pageant, and helping the elderly stay fit and positive at my local senior center. I am also training in acting to further develop my career in television and film.

NAM: What are your plans for the future? 
Celinda: Once I complete my bachelor’s degree at Montclair State University, I am going to pursue my master’s degree in public and organizational relations. I also plan on furthering my career as a television/film actress.

NAM: How would your friends describe you? 
Celinda: My friends would probably tell you that I’m a busy-bee, since I manage a tight schedule. You should see my planner, it’s covered in ink! They would also tell you I’m the optimistic one in the group. I always try my best to see the glass half full in every situation. My friends would also say that I am a loyal and honest friend, who although extremely busy, always makes time to help my friends in need or give them honest advice.

NAM: What motto or quote best describes you?
Celinda:  A saying that resonates with me is one by one of my role models, Audrey Hepburn. “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible.” It may sound cliché, but being someone who has been told that my dreams are too far-fetched, it motivates me to not give up.

Top 5 National All-American Miss 2015 

NAM: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Celinda: In high school, I did not really have the most supportive friend group. My ‘friends’ at the time thought my goal of becoming a big television/film actress was ridiculous and unrealistic and they would even get upset if I chose to go to an acting class or prepare for an audition instead of hanging out with them. After school during one of my drama rehearsals, my drama teacher noticed I was down and asked if I wanted to talk about it, after venting about my feelings she told me a piece of advice that I would instill in my life from then on; “surround yourself only by those who bring out the best in you and believe in you.” I took this advice to heart and started to make new friends who were actually excited about my goals and actually pushed me to go further. Today I am blessed to have such a strong support group around me that helps me thrive.

NAM: How did you prepare for the NAM National pageant?
Celinda: I did a lot of pageant research and asked for advice from several previous winners. I recited my introduction almost 24/7 and walked in my formal wear heels whenever I was home. I would practice my walk and intro in front of a mirror to make sure I was pleased with my delivery. My mother and sister helped me prepare for interview by asking me tons of questions and giving me feedback on my responses.  I even took a couple of skype lessons with previous NAM winner, Hoang Kim Cung to further sharpen up my skills.

NAM: Where is your favorite place to shop?
Celinda: Urban Outfitters and H&M are my go-to stores for my everyday wardrobe needs! They have basics like flannels, tights and button-ups, as well as edgier pieces that I can mix and match with my eclectic wardrobe.     

NAM: How have pageants shaped your life?
Celinda: The first time I walked out on the NAM stage, it made me realize how much I love performing in front of an audience. Not only did it help me identify my career path (acting), it shaped the major I would select in college one day (public relations/communications).  It instilled that drive in me to continue competing until I earned a title, improved my public speaking skills, and has helped me cross paths with other girls with similar goals, many of whom have become my close friends.

NAM: What is your most prized possession?
Celinda: Aside from my National All-American Miss crown and banner, one item that is very valuable to me is a necklace given to me by my Tia Carolina during a family reunion in Dominican Republic eight years ago. It was first and last time I got to see my relatives that don’t live in the United States. On the last day of our trip, it was a very emotional day, as we were all saying our goodbyes. My aunt came up to me, took off the beautiful gold necklace she was wearing and placed it on me. She told me to keep it as a keepsake to remember her by, and I couldn’t help but get emotional. It made me feel so special that she chose me to give her necklace to, and every time I wear it, it reminds me of the wonderful memories I made with my family during that special trip.
Sister Queens!

NAM: What is your favorite movie?
Celinda: Titanic is a film that I will always love and will never get sick of, no matter how many times I watch it.  Everything from the plot, costumes, set, direction, and performance is perfect to me.

NAM: What is your favorite TV show? 
Celinda:  Every Tuesday nights people know I can’t make plans because my sister and I have to watch Pretty Little Liars!  I am very into thrillers and mysteries and PLL gives me both. My sister and I love trying to figure out who the mysterious “A” villain is and coming up with plot theories!

NAM: What is your favorite book? 
Celinda: A couple years ago I came across this book in a library called How to Get the Part Without Falling Apart by Margie Haber.  I just love the advice she gives for aspiring actors as well as stories from now-famous actors that she’s worked with, like Halle Berry, Brad Pitt and Vince Vaughn, telling how they got their start and the struggles they had to go through to get where they are now.  I ended up purchasing the book on Amazon so I can have my own hardcopy to highlight and take notes on it. Her technique for acting has helped me advance in this field immensely. For any actors who still have not found the perfect technique for them and want to develop their acting skills, I definitely recommend this book!

NAM: What advice do you have for future NAM girls?
Celinda: My advice for future NAM girls is to relax, focus on having a good time, making friends, and most importantly, walk like you’re already wearing that NAM crown and banner and exude confidence. You have to remember that you are already a winner.  All throughout my week at nationals I imagined that I was wearing the National All-American Miss crown and banner every time I was on stage and I was just making an appearance. I really feel that just having fun and truly believing in myself, instead of worrying about “the competition” made the difference this year than the previous times I’ve competed.

NAM: If you could be famous for anything what would it be?
Celinda: I would like to be famous for my work in television and film.

The Crowning Moment! 
NAM: What is your dream job?
Celinda: To be cast as a lead in a New York Times best-selling novel made into a feature film directed by Martin Scorsese alongside Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep. That would be my dream job!

NAM: How do you plan to use your title?
Celinda: I plan to use the exposure to continue promoting NAM’s values. I would encourage girls to believe in themselves, embrace their individuality, help make a difference, which in turn will increase their confidence. I will also strive to raise awareness to my platform, ocean and marine life conservation, as well as the other organizations I work closely with like Halfway Hounds and Miss Lucky Star.

NAM: How do you volunteer in your community?
Celinda: I volunteer on an ongoing basis with Halfway Hounds, Brightside Manor Senior Home, and Miss Lucky Star. I also participate in local food drives, walks, or other events that pop up in my local area.

NAM: What is your most embarrassing moment? 
Celinda: One time I was in New York City, shooting an interview for this Bravo documentary called Model Walk, which was a one hour segment that followed around a few models (one of them being me) going to castings and jobs. It was to show the struggles and not so glamorous situations that models go through when they’re starting out. Anyway, I hosting an interview, and I didn’t know that we were live and already filming, and they had a really big close up of me digging my nose in HD! It was so embarrassing and everyone on set was cracking up, but now I know that once you get on that stage, even if you don’t know if you’re on air or not, don’t do anything embarrassing because you’re always being watched!

NAM: What is your favorite subject in school?
Celinda: I have been taking some religion courses these past couple semesters and it has quickly become one of my favorite subjects. I love learning about different perspectives of creation, the spirit world, and various philosophical views from around the world.

NAM:  If you had three wishes what would you wish for? 
Celinda: My first wish would be to restore all the Earth’s natural resources that have been rapidly depleting due to excess consumption.  Even though we have been making a lot of greener moves, there is still more to improve if we don’t want to run out of vital raw materials.
            My second wish would be to make animal cruelty disappear. Volunteering so many hours at local animal shelters has opened my eyes to how unfortunately common animal abuse is. It breaks my heart seeing the sweetest animals come in to our shelter covered in burns, stab wounds, or just barely any body mass at all due to owners who starved them.
 My third wish would be to make every single human realize we’re all equal.   I was almost going to wish to become an extremely successful actress, but I’m confident that will happen without wishing on it.

NAM: What is your biggest fear? 
Celinda: I have an extremely serious phobia of butterflies and moths. 

NAM: Who is your role model?
Celinda: Ever since the age of 8 when I first saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I became obsessed with Audrey Hepburn and started reading her biographies! Many people may see her as just a pretty face or a fashion icon, but she was much more than that! Hepburn was also an advocate for women’s rights and self-confidence and very dedicated to making a difference. For instance, she worked as a UNICEF ambassador for years. Not only do I admire her for being a humanitarian, but also for what she has accomplished in the entertainment industry. Did you know she is 1 of only 12 people in the world to ever win an Oscar, Toni, Grammy, and Emmy? I hope to someday attain a legacy similar to Audrey Hepburn’s.

NAM: If you could go back in time to any time period what would it be and why?
Celinda: I have always been attracted to the nineties era, especially the Seattle music scene. I would have loved to be a college student in Seattle during the early nineties and witness the emergence of Sub Pop and the major Seattle bands such as Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Mother Love Bone, Nirvana and Soundgarden, to name a few. I know I was born in the nineties, and most people would probably expect me to pick a time period that was not so recent, but I love almost every aspect of the nineties. I think it was a great time for music, fashion, television and film.  

NAM: If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
Celinda: I would love to have dinner with Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, my three favorite actors.

The 2014-2015 National All-American Miss

NAM: What is your favorite part about National American Miss?
Celinda: Competition-wise, my favorite part is personal introduction.  I enjoy public speaking and getting to sell my elevator pitch on stage! Outside the competition, I love getting to meet so many awesome, driven girls my age during check in and orientation. It is a great time to meet goal-oriented girls who are making a difference have a lot in common with you.

NAM: How did you get started with NAM? How long have you been involved?
Celinda: I first got involved with National American Miss when I was around 8 years old. I received a letter in the mail saying that a friend had recommended me to join. It was perfect timing because I had just finished all my dance recitals and I was really missing being on stage. 
It also appealed to me seeing the girls on the letter laughing and having a good time together with trophies and crowns. I begged my mom to sign me up and she said she would after she did more research online. I guess she found good testimonials because that summer I competed in my first NAM pageant as a NJ junior preteen. Even though I didn’t place, I loved the experience so much that I tried again the following year in the NJ preteen division and earned a spot in the top 15.  I took a break from NAM to focus on acting, but a couple NAM friends persuaded me to get back into it. So in 2012 and 2013, I came back with more confidence and competed in NJ teen twice and placed both years but did not win the state title. Even though I never won the New Jersey title, I was confident that I had the capabilities of being a NAM titleholder. I decided to apply for the Miss division.  Once again I placed as a runner up but did not win the state title, but since I was determined to make this goal come true, I didn’t want to stop there. I decided to go for All-American Miss this year, and finally, the dream came true. I finally became a NAM titleholder, (A NATIONAL titleholder!) after my fifth try.  I am so grateful I never gave up or lost faith in myself.

NAM: What is your definition of a NAM girl?
Celinda: NAM girls are determined and ambitious. They will not give up until they achieve the goals they’ve set. Even if they do fail sometimes, they get up and keep working hard and putting in the effort it takes until they have finally achieved their dreams. They love making life beautiful for others by making a difference and spreading kindness.  NAM girls are confident in themselves, embrace their individuality and inspire others to do the same.

NAM: What do you like to do for fun?
Celinda: I love going shopping with my sister, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially through yoga; I also have a big passion for cooking! I started out cooking Dominican family recipes that my grandmother passed down to me, and now I cook a plethora of dishes from different cultural cuisines.

NAM: What makes your state unique?
Celinda: New Jersey has the most diners in the world, the most shopping malls, the longest boardwalk, amazing beaches, and we’re the only state where every county is a metropolitan area. I love the fact that I am 15 minutes away from New York City and super close to other great metropolitan areas like Philadelphia, Boston and Baltimore. Yet, I am also 15 minutes away from rural farm areas.  I love being a Jersey girl. 

NAM: What is your favorite food?
Celinda: I’m such a big foodie so it’s so hard to choose just one! But if I had to pick it would be spicy sushi!

NAM: What makes you laugh?
Celinda: Watching old Spongebob episodes, and funny baby animal videos on Youtube!

NAM: What was your first thought you had when you captured your national title?

NAM: People would be surprised to know what about you?
Celinda: I was almost going to major in biochemistry in college before I decided on PR. Communications majors, for some reason, have a reputation of favoring English/writing and loathing math and science, so I tend to surprise many people, especially other communications majors when they figure out how big of a math and science aficionado I am.

Watch the Celinda's Crowning Moment!