Thursday, April 1, 2010

NAM's Breanne Maples Gives Interview to "The Pageant Planet" !!!

If you know NAM then you know Breanne !!! Breanne gave The Pageant Planet an interview where she discusses what makes NAM different , the 411 in fashion and some great pageant tips !!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Meet 2 NAM girls that put a whole NEW meaning in VOLUNTEERING !!!

It's my honor to introduce to you, two young ladies that have gone above and beyond in volunteering in their community !!! Victoria (akaTori) Knight the 2009 National American Miss Washington Teen and Kennedy Miller former NAM Washington Princess Winner and top 10 at the 2009 National All-American Miss Jr Preteen National pageant have created a pageant that gives back to victims of breast cancer! These two talented young ladies have beautiful voices and can light up the stage like no other. They both placed in the top five for the National Talent Competition and have bright futures ahead of them. Let's get to know them just a little better!!!

Tiffany: How did you get involved in pageants?
Kennedy:Mom says she bought a dress on ebay for pictures when I was really little and the seller asked if the dress was being used for a pageant. My mom said she didn't know anything about pageants so the seller sent her some links to local events. When I was 4 Tori's grandma told my mom about National American Miss. My mom decided to enter me in the state pageant. I won the state title that year and the rest is history!
Tori: I really enjoyed singing. I wanted to find something to showcase my talent. There really isn't a lot out there for kids and talent. My mom told me about a pageant with an optional catagory for talent. I couldnt wait to get on the stage. I was 9 at the time. I made friends that year and we are still friends today 9 years later.

Tiffany:What made you choose to be an advocate for Breast Cancer Awareness?
Tori: Kennedy and I have both lost family members to breast cancer. We have family members and friends who are survivors as well. Most recently a pageant friend of ours lost her mother to breast cancer. We wanted to do something to help. We wanted to help educate young ladies about the importance of prevention.

Tiffany: Who came up with "Queens for a Cure"?
Kennedy: We were at the state fair with Tori and her family one day in September. We started talking about one of our friends we met through pageants and cheer whose mother had recently died from Breast Cancer. My mom told me about her cousin who also died from breast cancer who had two little girls ages 1 and 4 when she died. Tori and I were so sad that little girls were loosing their moms and we started talking about things we could do. Lots of ideas were exchanged that day and by the time we left the fair Queens for a Cure was formed!

Tiffany: Tell me about the event.
Kennedy: Queens for a Cure is a combination pageant and fundraiser. Contestants compete in 2 mandatory events: Personal Introduction and Formal Wear. Contestants can also compete in several optional events including cover model, best eyes, best hair, best introduction, best formal wear etc. One queen and 4 alternates are chosen in each age group based on their mandatory scores. We also have 3 overall titles awarded to the contestants with the highest combined score in the mandatory events and donations collected for Susan G Komen. All contestants who raise donations over $100 receive a special tiara and are invited to be on our team during the Susan G Komen race for the Cure June 6, 2010. We also wanted to help educate our friends about breast cancer so we invited a guest speaker from the Susan G Komen foundation. We distributed breast cancer publications, pins and shared facts throughout the pageant. We also paid a special tribute to the breast cancer survivors in the audience by inviting them up on stage and presenting them with a rose and they received a moving applause from the audience.
Tori:Our main goal with Queens for a Cure was to raise money and awareness. We wanted the highest award to really include the donations collected for Susan G Koman. We have divisional winners with a combined score of the events on stage. But our three Supreme Titles include a combined score of the events on stage and the amount collected for Susan G. Komen. Everyone who raised 100.00 or more received a tiara and gets her entry fee paid for the Race for a Cure. My favorite part of the day was honoring the survivors on stage and presenting them with pink roses.

Tiffany: How did you organize the event?
Kennedy:We had a lot of help from our moms and our grandmas. We had several meetings where we talked about all the things we needed: Judges, score sheets, decorations, awards, emcee cards, etc. There are A LOT of things to organize. We divided up all the tasks between everyone to be sure everyone had a job and that everything got done.
Tori:We worked with our moms and grandmas. We made many lists and everyone had different roles and responsibilities prior to and the day of the event. We met and talked often. Communication was key. We were able to secure a speaker from Susan G. Komen and we got the theater donated 100%. It was just amazing how many people wanted to help and be a part of Queens for a Cure. We had a webpage to communicate information to contestants. We also wrote a script that was written for Kennedy and I to use as a guid while emceeing the event. Everything went smoothly.

Tiffany: What was your goal?
Kennedy:Our goal was to raise $5,000. We knew that was a big goal but we knew we had a lot of really great pageant friends that could help us achieve our goal. BOY OH BOY were we surprised when we got the final tally and were able to announce to the audience that together we raised $10,111.07! It was an amazing feeling!
Tori:We set what we thought at the time was an ambitious goal of $5,000.00 When the Big check was presented on stage I read the amount prior to announcing it to the audiance. When the total amount of $10,111.07 was announced the roar of the crowed as they rose to their feet was the most amazing feeling I have every had. Thinking about it now, still makes me emotional. One of the judges, a friend who is a local news anchor had recently been diagnosed and was in the middle of her Chemo treatment. As the applause continued I thought about her and how much courage she has to be fighting this and I was honored to be a part of something so amazing.

Tiffany: How has being a titleholder helped you outreach in your community?
Kenneny: I was the 2005 WA Princess Queen. Being a title holder gave me the confidence to look for opportunities in my community and ask to be involved. It has also taught me that I can still make a difference in my community whether I have a title or not.
Tori:I think learning at such a young age about the importance of volunteering really helped me see the rewards with volunteering. Being a part of NAM requires volunteer hours at the National Level and I think it is fantastic to get the kids involved. I started volunteering at 9 years old. There wasn't a lot of organizations that would take someone under 9 so I had to create oppotunities in my own community. It is much easier now that I am 18. But I think starting Queens for a Cure opens the door for many others to get involved either with Susan G. Komen or even another organization

Tiffany:What advice can you give to other girls who want to start reaching out in their community?
Tori:I know it is not easy finding a big organization who will allow someone under 16 to volunteer.
When getting involved in your community it doesn't have to be something big. I use to sing at nursing homes, volunteer coach, and helped clean up my school. You will set an example and might encourage others to do get invovled. If we all did something small today, together that would be HUGE! I remember when I was younger thinking, I may be small in size, but I can make an Impact too. See It, Believe It Achieve It.

Tiffany: Kennedy what advice can you give to girls your age that want to start volunteering?
Kennedy:If there is something that you really want to do - you can do it! When you are young you will really need your parents help, so put together a plan for what you want to do. Tell them what you want to do and why and together you will make a great team!

Tiffany:What do you girls want to do when you grow up?
Kennedy: I really love to be on stage so I hope to perform on Broadway when I grow up. I'd also like to be a teacher.
Tori: I will be attending Central Washington University in the Fall. I am currently involved in the Teaching Academy where I am teaching 5th grade one hour a day. I really am enjoying it. I hope to teach 5th grade in the future as well as Direct Musicals at a local Community theater. I want to volunteer with public speaking and hope one day to have the opportunity to Emcee NAM as well.

Tiffany:What is your favorite part of National American Miss?
Kennedy: My favorite part is being on stage with the cool lights and music. I also really look forward to seeing all my friends and the staff members every year, its just a really fun weekend.
Tori: My favorite part of competition is Interview and Talent. I love to see the staff and my pageant friends as well. I met Brian and Meagan 9 years ago at my very first pageant. I want to contiue to be a part of NAM for the rest of my life. I have seen the changes it makes in young ladies lives. My life is forever changed because of it.

Tiffany: Tell me about yourself
Kennedy: I am 9 years old and in the 4th grade. My favorite subject in school is Math. After school I either go to dance class or theater rehearsals. I just joined the competition dance team this year and I am having a lot of fun doing that. Earlier this year I was cast as Kate in Annie Jr and I am currently in rehearsals for Seussical Jr where I am playing the Sour Kangaroo. Singing is really my passion so I try to work in a few voice lessons here and there too when my dance and theater schedule allows. I had a great time at NAM nationals this year and I can't wait for my state pageant! I decided to try a new optional at nationals this year, Spokesmodel. To my delight I won the Jr PreTeen National Spokesmodel title! I hope I am able to attend the national pageant again next year!
Tori: I am 18 and a Senior this year. I am the Secretary/Treasurer for my Senior Class. I am very invoved in leadership at my school. I am excited to start college in the fall at Central Washington University. I am involved in school and community theater. I am currently in High School Musical II, playing the part of Gabriella. I love to work with kids. I am currently teaching a 5th grade reading class and I also teach Sunday School. In my free time I love to go camping, playing in the mud on my quad, getting coffee with friends and singing in the rain

Monday, March 29, 2010

Meet Danielle Walker The 2009 National American Miss California Teen !!!

Let's meet Danielle Walker the beautiful young lady that took home the 2009 National American Miss California Teen title !!! Danielle placed in the top 10 at the national pageant as well as taking home the National Spokesmodel title and placing in the top 5 for Talent and Casual Wear Modeling !!! Danielle has an amazing voice and some day soon she will be Broadway bound !!!

Tiffany: What does your title mean to you?
Danielle: My title is very meaningful in my life. It is a goal that I set for myself and accomplished. I am very honored and proud to be my states representative. I try my best not to take it for granted because I know how many girls dream of being Miss California. I feel grateful and blessed to be apart of the namiss family.

Tiffany: What activities are you involved in?
Danielle: Currently I am a full time student. I participate in my school's voice and dance program. I'm practicing for three concerts at this moment. The first is a mixed vocal concert, the second is opera, and the third is a dance perfromance for afro-carribean and standard ballroom. My ballroom partner and I are also very interested in competiting, soon we will start preparing for that.

Tiffany:What do your future plans include?
Danielle:After I graduate college with a degree in music performance I plan to apply for grad school. My ultimate goal is to become a professional singer and entertain international audiences.

Tiffany: What community service activities are you involved in?
Danielle: I've had many wonderful opportunites this year to work with charitable organizations. Some of the most memorable were Kids Helping Kids; an event to raise money for Haiti, Toys for Tots, and the Alzheimer's association. At this moment I'm working to collect prom dresses for girls who's families can't afford to buy one.

Tiffany:What is your defintion of a "NAM" girl?
Danielle: NAM girls have many definitions; friendly, ambitious, talented, caring...just to name a few. I personally believe that each name girl redefines what it means to be a queen. Each girl is so different and brings so many positive things to this world that it would be impossible to create a very accurate description.

Tiffany: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Danielle: The best advice that was given to me is simple, "DO NOT GIVE UP." I have failed more times that I have succeeded in life but no one ever seems to notice. They only awknowlegde my accomplishments. This fact gives all of my failed attempts a true purpose. I may not succeed the first time I try something new but, my failures keep me humble and give me great appreciation for the goals I do accomplish.

Tiffany: What is your favorite NAM memory?
Danielle: My favorite nam memory is when the pageant finalists are sang to on stage. It is a perfect moment. As I stand on stage waiting anxiously for the results, I think of everything that I went through to prepare for the pageant. It's the happiest time for me because I tell myself, "What's done is done, I've tried my best." To me it's an indescribable feeling of personal achievement.

Tiffany:What advice do you have for future NAM contestants?
Danielle: My advice to them would be to slow down as much as possible during pageant weekend. Just look around an be happy to be where you are at any given time during the pageant.
Tiffany: What is your favorite part about NAM?
Danielle: My favoite part about NAM is that they aren't looking to crown a girl that fits into a certain mold or persona. We are able to showcase who we really are during competitions. The staff is always friendly and encourages each contestant to have fun just being herself.

Tiffany:What is your most prized possession
Danielle: My most prized possession is a ring that my grandmother gave to me when I was a little girl. It holds a lot of sentimental significance. My grandmother is my personal role model and is someone I continuously look up too.
Tiffany: How would your friends describe you?
Danielle: My friends say that I'm happy all the time. I would agree with them. I love life and try to take everyday for what it is, good or bad. I'm just thankful for all the things and people that God has blessed me with. I try to let everyone know how much they mean to me and that I love having them in my life.

Tiffany: If you could eat dinner with anyone who would it be ?
Danielle: If I could eat dinner with anyone, it would be with Sutton Foster. I love to sing her songs for talent competitions because I think she has an amazing voice. She seems like a very genuine person, also someone who can give me some advice about singing.