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Meet The 08-09 National All-American Miss Teen Kristin Gilbart

Have you ever wanted to get to know the Nationals Queens just a little bit better ? Well now is your chance! Here is an exclusive interview from Kristen Gilbart , Its your chance to know that national queens are just like you! Find out Kristin's favorite food to what her plans for the future are! A Word From Kristin : I was born in Newport Beach, CA, and have lived in Southern California my whole life – which I totally love. Outdoor fun with my friends and family are my favorite spare time activities – especially wake-boarding at Big Bear Lake or Lake Havasu. My other interests include reading, movies, politics, shopping, and volunteering at Birth Choice of Temecula and teaching the toddler Sunday School class at my church. I graduated from Calvary Chapel High School, in Murrieta, in 2007, where I was active in cheer, and then attended Azusa Pacific University as a freshman in 2008. I completed my sophomore college year at Mt. San Jacinto College. This year I transferred to Chapman University to complete my undergraduate degree, where I’m majoring in Broadcast Journalism – and I absolutely love it! Classes in my major are challenging and work-intensive, but they’re so much fun. In addition to my school work, I joined Delta Gamma sorority, and am active with the Action in Africa club. I did my first pageant at the age of 13 when I received an invitation from NAM in the mail to enter the Jr. Teen Miss California pageant. Little did I know what a fun and life-changing experience that would turn out to be. On my 3rd try, in 2005 I was crowned NA Miss California, Jr. Teen at the age of 15. I then entered Miss California in the Teen division in 2007 and 2008, resulting in my going to nationals in 2008 and being crowned National All-American Miss Teen. Representing NAM nationally this year has been a complete blast, especially the fun I had with my sister queens at the state pageants I visited this summer. I’m looking forward to meeting all the girls coming to Nationals next month and wish everyone the very best! Kristin's Interview !!! Tiffany : How has your life changed since winning your National Title ? Kristin : Since winning my national title my life has changed in so many wonderful ways. Not only have I been given a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent National American Miss nationally, but I have formed so many amazing friendships along the way with my beautiful sister queens. Additionally, I was able to travel across the country this summer and visit numerous state pageants, were I got to meet so many talented young women. This year will be one I will forever cherish. Tiffany: What do you like to do for fun ? Kristin: For fun, I enjoy several activities. During the summer, my favorite sport is wakeboarding. I also enjoy spending time in the water whether it’s my pool or at the beach. This year, I got to experience zip lining, which was a ton of fun, and I would love to do it again. Aside from outdoor activities, I love shopping and baking. Lastly, I am involved in my sorority, Delta Gamma, and love going to Disneyland, since it’s only ten minutes from my school! Tiffany: What do you want to do in the future ? Kristin :After I graduate college, I hope to enter into the field of political reporting. Next summer I hope to intern in New York City where I will get some first hand experience with my desired career. Tiffany: What makes your state special ? Kristin: California is special for numerous reasons. It’s one of the few states where you can drive two hours and be in the desert, then drive two hours the other direction and be in the snow. Not to mention we have a gorgeous coastline of oceans, several desired vacation spots, including San Francisco and San Diego. And what makes it extra special is that this is where NAM nationals are held, where all of the queens and contestants visit Hollywood and Disneyland together! Tiffany: If you could tell me only one thing about yourself, What would it be ? Kristin: If I could tell someone just one thing about myself it would be that I try my best everyday to take a moment and notice something new, like how beautiful a flower can be or the unique shape of a cloud in the sky. Tiffany: What is your favorite pageant Competition? Kristin: My favorite competition is probably interviews, even though it’s the one I usually am most nervous for. But I love it because once you sit down face to face with the judges, the nerves go away and it’s great to be able to have a personal talk with each of the judges so they get to know a little bit more about each girl and what makes her special. Tiffany: How would your friends describe you ? Kristin: My friends would probably describe me as very outgoing, talkative, a good listener, and a trusted friend. Tiffany: Who is your role model? Kristin: My role model is my Grandpa. Ever since he was a young boy he was a very hard worker and always paid attention to the needs of others. He never had the opportunity to go to college, but didn’t allow that to stop him from being successful. He has been a profound influence in my life, and I am so proud to be his granddaughter and I miss him very much. Tiffany: Finish this sentence, People would be surprised to know... Kristin: People would be surprised to know…that I have been Polynesian dancing since I was 6 years old! Tiffany: What three words best describe you ? Kristin: Three words that best describe me are: caring, optimistic, and vivacious. Tiffany: What was the first thing you did or thought after you won your national title? Kristin: My first thought after I won my title was “Oh My Gosh, I can’t believe it!!!!”.I was filled with excitement and shock, and I couldn’t wait for the amazing year I had ahead of me. Tiffany: How did you prepare for nationals ? Kristin: The way I prepared for the National pageant, wasn’t really any different then how I prepare for the state pageant. I brushed up on my personal introduction and reviewed interview questions. Other than that I was just excited to see all my friends and see what the week had in store. Little did I know I would be walking away with the national title!! Tiffany: What is the best advice you can give future pageant contestants? Kristin: My advice for a future NAM contestant is to have fun! Don’t let your nerves or anxiety about the competition take away from all the wonderful things you can gain from participating in the pageant. I promise after just one pageant, you will be a NAM girl forever :) Tiffany: What is your favorite quote? Kristin: “Never give up, never give in, and never stop giving”. Tiffany: If you were stuck on a deserted island what three things would you bring ? Kristin: If I was stuck on a deserted island and could only bring three things with me, they would probably be my Bible, my BlackBerry, and sunscreen. Tiffany: What is your favorite book, TV show and movie ? Kristin: It’s hard for me to narrow it down to just one favorite book, movie and TV show, but the top of my lists include Memoirs of A Geisha for books, “The Holiday” for movies, and “24” as my TV show. Tiffany:What is the best advice you have ever received? Kristin:“In all you do, do your best”. Tiffany: If you had to eat one just one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be ? Kristin: If I had to eat just one thing for the rest of my life it would probably be any type of Asian food. I love Pei Wei, Panda Express, and P.F. Changs! Tiffany: If you wrote a book about your life what would the title be ? Kristin: If I had a book written about my life, the title might be “Carpe Diem”, which is Latin for “seize the day”, since that’s what I try to do each day. All you MOM'S out there, this interview is for you !!! Here is some helpful advice from Kristin's wonderful mom, Julie. Check out our one on one interview on just what it is like to be the mom of a national queen ! Tiffany: What life skills has your daughter learned from being involved in NAM? Julie: So many…! From the very first pageant she did at age thirteen, Kristin learned how to properly dress for an interview (business suit, heels) and conduct herself in an interview situation, which will certainly serve her well when she is doing real-life job interviews in the near future. She can converse easily with adults and articulate her thoughts in a focused and engaging manner. Likewise, the stage presence she developed through her pageants has given her a great sense of self-confidence, which I think has helped her feel competent in everything she does. Tiffany: What is your favorite Pageant memory of your daughter? Julie: On Thanksgiving evening last year at Nationals, Kristin started feeling sick. (That is not the favorite memory!) She had a sore throat, felt achy, and, worst of all, she lost her voice. With the final pageant 2 days away, this was a catastrophe, since if she made the top 5 at the final pageant (as of course we hoped she would) we knew she would have to redo her introduction. To stave off disaster, I went to the store and returned to stuff her with mountains of lozenges, gargles, throat spray, etc. Meanwhile, she tried to rest between rehearsals the next day and, hoping her voice would return, did not speak at all – including during the rehearsals (not an easy feat!) Finally, the pageant arrived. When she made top 5 and they handed her the microphone to do her introduction, I had not heard her speak for 1½ days. I held my breath and silently prayed. Miraculously, she did it with just a teensy voice break that most people would not have noticed. When they called her name as queen, there were a lot of happy and grateful tears from both of us! Tiffany: Would your recommend NAM to other families? Julie: Without hesitation, I’d recommend NAM – and often have. I tell moms that NAM is a pageant you can feel good about having your daughter participate in. It not only helps young women to develop personal skills, such as confidence and poise, but it encourages them to be positive role models by emphasizing wholesome values and high standards of conduct. As a result, we have been continually impressed by the caliber of the girls and parents we have met through NAM. Also, we appreciate that NAM embodies integrity in every aspect of its operation and the pageant is so professionally done, from the contestant materials sent out, to the first day of registration, to the judging, to the final pageant. NAM is truly the crown jewel of pageants. Tiffany: What will Kristin take away from her NAM experience? Julie: She will take away 8 years worth of treasured memories, and many friendships that will last her lifetime. I don’t think she could adequately put into words how special this time has been for her. All the fun she has experienced during pageants, the people she met, the bond with her sister queens and the NAM staff – it’s been an unforgettable experience that I know she will always cherish. Tiffany: What advice can you give to future NAM parents and contestants? Julie: For parents, encourage your daughter to set goals, to practice so she can do her best, and, above all, to have fun and make new friends. Then be sure to let her know how proud you are of all her efforts and accomplishments. Just to try something out of your comfort zone is fantastic! For contestants: take advantage of what is offered in your contestant magazines and workshops in the way of tips on appropriate dress for the different competitions, on how to stand, on giving your introduction, etc. Following this advice will truly give you your best chance of success. Also, remember to wear a smile on your face, try to meet as many girls as you can, and take advantage of the many fun events you will experience. You will come away with treasured friends and memories. Tiffany: As a parent how have you seen Kristin change after wining her national title? Julie: Kristin has always been friendly, gracious, and outgoing. But when she won the national crown, she was so proud and honored to represent NAM at the national level, it seemed that she took all those qualities to an even higher level. I could see she was keenly aware of the responsibility she carried as a goodwill ambassador, and took it very seriously. Everywhere we went this year I was touched by the warmth, kindness and friendliness I saw her show to everyone she met, whether it was contestants, parents, or little girls asking for autographs and photos with her. She was never too busy. She took it as a joy and privilege. These qualities will part of her for the rest of her life. Kristin and her mom Mrs. Julie Gilbart

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