Wow! What an amazing year of opportunities I have had since being crowned the Miss Florida Junior Pre Teen. During my reign, it has been my privilege to work with some wonderful organizations such as Meals on Wheels, Relay for Life, and Habitat for Humanity. I also had the honor of participating in the Punta Gorda Christmas parade, sharing my love of NAM with my hometown.
Going to California with my family at Thanksgiving was the highlight of my reign. Meeting new friends and reuniting with old ones from all over the country was an experience I will never forget. I was so excited to earn the ever popular Spirit Stick and to be named fourth runner up overall.
To my mom and dad, I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am for your support and love. You both have worked hard to help me reach my goals and live out my dreams. To my brothers, Davis, Dawson and Drew, thank you for sitting through countless hours of competition and for being the loudest and proudest cheering section a girl could ask for.
It is with great sadness that I say goodbye to the Sunshine State as my family and I relocate to the Windy City of Chicago. Florida NAM has been a part of my life since I was just four years old and I have made so many great memories and learned valuable life skills. Thank you to Steve and Kathleen Mayes for providing the experience of a lifetime, for believing in me and encouraging me every step of the way. You are the best state and national directors and your positive influence means more to me than you can possibly know.
To my successor, congratulations and enjoy your year as the new Miss Florida. Take advantage of every opportunity and make it a year to remember. I have had an awesome weekend with all of you fantastic young ladies and it is my hope that National American Miss will become an important part of your life as it has been and will continue to be in mine. Be proud of who you are and use the special talents God has given you to the best of your ability.
With love and friendship, I am Laurel Stiekes, your 2010-2011 Miss Florida Junior Pre Teen