Tiffany: How did you get involved in National American Miss?
Amanda:When I was 12, I got a flyer in the mail about NAM. After discussing it with my parents and talking to some girls who had participated in NAM before, we decided that I could go to the pageant to experience the fun and hopefully build my confidence. Little did I know that one flyer would change my life so much.
Tiffany:How did you prepare for the National Pageant?
Amanda:2011 was actually my third time going to NAM Nationals and competing for a National Queen’s title. After placing 1st Runner Up the previous year in the Teen division, I knew I had to make a choice… I could quit trying or come back even more determined to claim the title. After many prayers, I made the decision to give it another try. I spent the next 10 months dedicated to becoming the best Amanda I could be. I developed my platform (The True Beauty Movement), continued to foster my communication skills and fitness, and shaped myself into the mature young lady I aspire to be. I knew that this year was all in God’s glory since it was His hand that brought me back into competition. Finding solace in that, I prepared for Nationals calmly with the knowledge that whoever was blessed with the title would be the right person for the job.
Tiffany: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Amanda: My parents have always told me, “Just be Amanda and focus on what you can control.” This advice has been helpful in so many aspects of my life – from college to pageantry. Things aren’t always going to go the way we hope, so we have to take things one step at a time – and if we have no control over the matter, let it go. You just have to be the best version of yourself and give the rest to God.
Tiffany:What quote, motto or scripture best describes you?
Amanda:“Be the best you” is something I have always strived to live by. We have to embrace what makes us different, because that’s what makes us beautiful. God has created us each for a special and unique purpose; not to be compared to anyone else. Each day we have to be the best version of ourself and He will take care of the rest.
Tiffany: What are your plans for the future?
Amanda:I am currently studying business at Georgia State University and hope to enter the Disney College Program to begin my journey with the Walt Disney Company. After graduating with honors, I hope to enter corporate America in the arena of marketing, public relations, or management. As I climb the corporate ladder I will continue develop my work as a motivational speaker. I hope to work in many arenas, but all within the arena of communication and service. I would also like to develop a career as a broadcast journalist and television host. I’ve always had a passion for entertainment and public speaking, so finding a way to incorporate all of my interests into a meaningful career is a big goal of mine.
Tiffany: What activities are you involved in?
Amanda: I’m currently a first year business student at Georgia State University taking a full course load, so most of my time is spent in class or preparing for class. On campus, I am involved in the Emerging Leaders Program and the Exploring Leadership Living and Learning Community. I am also the Lead Anchor for the GSU Panther News Television Station. When I’m not hitting the books, you can find me volunteering with the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, Children’s Miracle Network, the True Beauty Movement, and various other organizations.
Tiffany: What do you like to do for fun?
Amanda:Volunteering is actually a lot of fun for me; especially when I’m working with the younger girls. I’ve also taken a liking to Zumba – it’s a great way to stay healthy and enjoy working out. I travel a lot with my title and volunteer work, so having a relaxing night in my hometown with family or friends is always much appreciated.
Tiffany: What is one item you can’t live without?
Amanda: My cell phone! I try to always stay on top of my social media networks and in touch with NAM girls all across the country – making myself accessible to all my supporters. Tweet me (@TheAmandaMoreno) and add me on Facebook (facebook.com/AmandaMoreno).
Tiffany: Who is your role model?
Amanda: I wouldn’t say I have one specific role model, but I absolutely admire Joel Osteen. He is able to not only do God’s work, but serve as a motivational speaker and author as well. His audience is so widespread and to be able to have that kind of impact on the people is something I strive toward. I also aspire to attain the qualities of both Princess Diana and Julie Andrew; Diana, for her tireless work to improve the quality of life for people around the world, Julie Andrews for her community service and her dedication to perfecting her craft, and both ladies for always going about their work with quiet dignity.
Tiffany: What is your favorite TV show?
Amanda: I’m a really big fan of Wizards of Waverly Place! It’s a great family show, and Selena Gomez is adorable.
Tiffany: What is the biggest misconception about your generation?
Amanda: I think that there are a lot of people out there who think that our generation wants everything handed to them right now, but those people haven’t met NAM girls. Yes, we do like things that come as quickly as requested… but we are aware that life does not always work that way. To achieve great things, you have to set a goal, make a plan, and put in hard work. When you finally achieve your goals… it’s value is that much greater.
Tiffany: If you had three wishes what would you wish for?
Amanda: First and foremost, I would wish for a cure for all cancers. My mother is a breast cancer survivor and one of my best friends is battling a brain tumor right now. Cancer is something that affects everyone in the world, and there is a cure… we just have to find it.
I would also wish for the True Beauty Movement to become more widespread throughout our nation. Discovering true beauty and becoming comfortable in my own skin has been a long journey for me and I want to aid other girls in their journey. If just one girl is able to say that she sees herself as beautiful because of the things she learned from the True Beauty Movement… it’s served its purpose.
My last wish would be to receive a scholarship that would cover my schooling and books from now until I finish Graduate school. I really enjoy academics and want to assure that I attain all the skills necessary to accomplish my goals.
Tiffany: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
Amanda: I’m Colombian, so to be able to visit Bogata would be fantastic! I am just in awe of the Hispanic culture and I love being able to explore my roots. Plus, the food is fantastic!
Tiffany: What is your definition of a NAM girl?
Amanda: A NAM girl is a young lady who is the best version of herself. She has dreams… and she is ready to do something about them. She is intelligent, well-spoken, genuine, classy, glamorous and enthusiastic!
Tiffany: If you could be on the cover of any Magazine what would it be?
Amanda:Seventeen Magazine and Forbes! I want to be a young lady that the girls can relate to and a young business person that the parents can respect. These magazines encompass who I am – a National representative, a normal teenager, and a developing business entrepreneur!
Tiffany: If you were stranded on a deserted island what three things could you not live without?
Amanda:I would have to bring a phone that has awesome reception, it keeps me connected and entertained. I would also want to bring my Disney Princess blanket to keep me warm and it’s so soft. Lastly, I’d want to bring my crown box… you never know when an appearance may pop up!
Tiffany: What is your most prized possession?
Amanda: I received a Tiffany & Co. charm bracelet as a High School graduation present from my parents. I have the “Class of 2011” charm and a crown charm is being added next to celebrate winning Nationals. I know I will be able to look at this bracelet for the rest of my life and have it serve as a storybook for my own fairy tale!
Tiffany: How would your friends describe you?
Amanda:I am a total nerd, and my friends will openly tell you that. On the Georgia State campus, most of my time is spent in the library studying or working on papers. I think they would also tell you that I am dependable and energetic. I always try to start my day off right by walking to class with them and keeping a really upbeat personality.
Tiffany: How are you making a difference in your community?
Amanda: As the founder of the True Beauty Movement, I spend a lot of my time dedicated to promoting my platform and making speaking engagements. We have the True Beauty of the Month competition, essay contest, school integration program, and the photo collage. I also serve as a mentor for the Boys & Girls Club of Atlanta working with the Youth Of the Year representatives from the various clubs.
Tiffany:What is your favorite childhood memory?
Amanda:Something most people don’t know is that my family and I travel to Disneyworld each year at Christmas to celebrate Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. We’ve been doing this since I was three years old and it’s become a really great tradition that we still enjoy.
Tiffany:If you could go back in time and be at any historical event what would it be?
Amanda: I am so intrigued by Walt Disney and his work as an imagineer, visionary, and businessman. I would have loved to see his opening of Disneyland and been able to stand in the first row during his speech. I’ve seen the recordings of it, but I can’t imagine what it must have really been like to see it and to have been immersed in the excitement. It’s crazy to think that such a big enterprise all started with a mouse.
Tiffany: If you could go back in time and meet one person, who would it be and why?
Amanda: My Grandpa is someone I knew as a little girl, but he passed away when I was very small. I would love to be able to go back in time and sit down and have a conversation with him about advice for life. I always wonder what my elders would think of where I am today and how they would tell me to improve, and I know my Grandpa would fill that void really well. He was a great man; a veteran, a jeweler, and a volunteer firefighter. If I can be half the person he was… life is good.
Tiffany:If you could be famous for something, what would you want to be famous for?
Amanda: I would want to be famous for being an actress whose philanthropy has helped girls all across our country. Ever since I was a little girl, I always wanted to be involved in the entertainment arena while still being able to give back for the many blessings I have received. The True Beauty Movement is something I plan to continue working with and integrating into my professional life; so that’s where my philanthropic aspect would come in.
Tiffany: What is your favorite book? And why?
Amanda:The Bible is my guiding hand in all my decisions and helps me on whatever journey or challenge I face. I am also a big fan of any Nicholas Sparks or Joel Osteen books!
Tiffany: Where is your favorite place to shop?
Amanda: I am such a bargain shopper – TJMaxx and Marshalls are awesome! I’m able to find boutique and designer clothes at great prices. I am also able to find a lot of really great pageant outfits from there. I don’t feel it’s necessary to spend a lot of money to look stylish. My national interview suit and casual wear modeling outfit were both from Marshalls!
Tiffany: Who is the most influential person in the world now?
Amanda: I wouldn’t say that there is any one “most influential person.” People are influential for different reasons and have different audiences. I know that one of the most influential people in “my” world is Joel Osteen. He helps depict the word of God in terms that are easy to understand and then helps us understand how they relate to our real life situations.
Tiffany: Who or what inspires you most?
Amanda: I’m able to do a lot of service work with younger girls and seeing their face brighten the first time they believe they’re beautiful is just such a humbling experience. The girls I work with are the ones that inspire me to keep going and work even harder day after day. When people tell me that I inspire them, they are actually inspiring me.
Tiffany: What have you learned about yourself since competing in pageants?
Amanda: I’ve learned that when I put my mind to something... I can accomplish it. I’ve worked 7 years to be able to represent this system and this chapter of my life will be filled with many memories, lessons, and laughter. I know that whether it is in the entrepreneurial, business, academic, or pageant arena... I have the strength and ability to accomplish all of my goals. It’s not a matter of “if” my dreams will come true… simply a matter of “when.”
Tiffany: What is your definition of success?
Amanda: To me, success is not a destination… but the journey we embark on when we pursue our dreams and aspirations. Working daily on the journey to be the best version of ourselves… never forgetting where we came from and what originally inspired us… that’s success.
Tiffany: What advice do you have for future NAM girls?
Amanda: Be yourself. The best way to succeed in this system, as well as in life, is to know who you are… and own it. National American Miss is about today’s girl and celebrating who she is right now – there’s something really beautiful about a girl who is comfortable in her own skin.
Tiffany: What do you plan to do with your title this year?
Amanda: There are many exciting plans in the works for my year of service. I have big plans for bringing the True Beauty Movement to the state pageants this summer as well as Nationals next fall. We will be continuing the essay contest, school integration program, photo collage, and our newest program for 2012… True Beauty of the Month. I will continue my community involvement with the Metro Atlanta Boys & Girls Club, Queens for a Cure, Relay for Life, and the Children’s Miracle Network. My year will consist of appearances, service projects, and various speaking engagements on topics pertinent to today’s society. Above all, I want to use my year to help girls all across our country understand that true beauty is being the best version of them. This is a job that I have faithfully worked toward for seven years, and it’s a job I feel more blessed than ever to finally attain.
Tiffany:Tell me about yourself.
Amanda: I am a faithful, passionate, and determined 19 year-old from Conyers, Georgia. I recently completed my first semester at Georgia State University – where I am working toward my goal of becoming a top corporate executive for the Walt Disney Company. My passion lies within the entertainment industry and I am currently signed with East Coast Talent. I am working as the lead anchor for the Georgia State University Television News, and continue to develop my acting skills through various projects. I am an active volunteer in my community and serve as a spokesperson and mentor for the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta. I am blessed to be the founder and director of the “True Beauty Movement,” a nationwide program founded to help girls redefine beauty in their own terms and realize that “true beauty is who you are, not what you look like.”